Going to Auction!

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Going to Auction!

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  • Horses going to auction
  • going to a horse auction

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    09-16-2009, 02:49 PM
Going to Auction!

Well I am going to the auction on Sat to look for a horse. I have 2 already (one is for sale) and am looking for a new trail horse for next year. I wanted to go to the auction because I know for some of them this is there last chance for a good home. I am willing to buy one that needs TLC as my boyfriend would say is a "fixer upper". That is what all my horses have been. With it close to winter and the hay supply in our area is short this year I have a feeling there will be many to chose from. Now on to my question I have never bought a horse from a auction before. What do I need to know..What do I need to look for or at. I have 2 hours from the time doors open to they start to sell. We can ride them in there parking lot and can spend time with them. I am just scared that with it being a timed thing I may rush and forget the most key things I need to remember (i get so excited with that bidding card in hand). I am taking my friend who is a trainer and her friend who is a vet tech to help me..any advice and suggestions? I have had horses for many years and my family and I are all trail riders and have made a pact to buy only from auctions so we can give them there last "forever" home.

Thanks Casey
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    09-16-2009, 03:52 PM
I don't know about the auction you're going to,but once I have gone to has a guaranteed sound on some horses. I've been told those are the ones to bid on/get since if any lameness issues come up, you can bring the horse back and I believe get to choose a new one.
    09-16-2009, 06:19 PM
If the auction has a catalog (usually on the auctioneer's or sale barn's website), go through it and mark down any horses that sound interesting *before* the auction. Then, in that 2-hour pre-auction demo thing, just look at those horses, and make sure to cross out on your little list what horses you decided you didn't like in person. Then, a few minutes before the auction, decide the maximum amount you're willing to spend on that horse.
That way, during the auction, you have something of a plan, and you're not accidentally spending over your budget on a horse, or coming to regret buying a horse on impulse.
    09-17-2009, 08:56 AM
The only ones that have catalogers are registered horse auctions but the vast majority of them are what I call backyard auctions. That's not because they are in a back yard but that is where nearly all the horses come from - there or minor dealers.

Try to find someone there who knows the score and which people whose horses you should stay away from. At those auctions you need not only a trainer but someone who can spot a drugged horse. I've done very well at those places but I've been burned too - and I've been going to them for nearly 30 years.

I recently picked up two really small ponies for a client that worked out better then I ever expected but it took a lot of time and talking to some people that I knew who knew the seller. There were two horses that I came close to buying; both registered TB that were perfect in the ring and sold for $125.00 each. I was told to stay away from either of them due to the seller. It can be a real gamble.
    09-17-2009, 12:08 PM
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I highly agree with Bill, but he missed a couple of points. You only have a couple of minutes to look at the horse and you need to ask why is this horse at the auction, the local auctions. Every horse is there for a reason, it could be attitude (a biter, kicker or etc), medical, or other. Those auctions are a dumping ground for the animals that can't be sold elsewhere.

If the horse was ready good odds are it would be sold to a horse trader for better money.
    09-17-2009, 01:18 PM
We have bought 3 horses at our local auction and every one of them is a "keeper". Most of the sellers and buyers are regulars so they know each other. Also, our farrier works there so he can give us the insider scoop on a lot of the horses or at least tell us who owns it so we can ask questions. Don't be scared of buying at the auction, just do your "homework" first. Watch how they treat the horse, are they trying to wear it out so it will behave in the sale ring?
    09-17-2009, 01:22 PM
Actually, Eddie, if you stay in the stands and wait for the horses to come in for bidding do you have only a few minutes. You need to go out back where they are staged and you have a lot of time to see them and talk to the sellers. Most times the horses can be ridden as well.

The one I was at this past Saturday is a monthly auction. Tack sells at 5:00 and horses start at 7:00. You can spend as much time as you need to out back looking at the horses right up until the time they are brought into the ring for sale.

Eddie is right about these auctions being, many times, a dumping place for horses that are problems but in my experience, that isn't the rule. Many times a seller would rather sell a horse that way instead of having to show him to people himself. Some sellers don't want people coming to their place, or don't like dealing with people in general. Some need to sell a horse quickly for whatever reason they may have and the auction is a quick way to do it. Others need money fast or just may not be able to afford to keep them any longer.

Buying at an auction certainly presents a high degree of risk but you can minimize it if you are careful and have the right people with you to help with the choices. As Ozark said, do your homework to reduce the risk.
    09-17-2009, 02:03 PM
Well thank you all for the great advice. I agree that in my area most the horses are there as a quick way to sell. PPl can not afford to care for them anymore. I go to this auction monthly to buy tack and other stuff just never a horse. But I always stay and watch them go thru and there is always some very nice ones and than again some that break my heart. I know it a gamble and it one I willing to take. I just wanted to go into it with all my ducks in a row..I will keep you all posted

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