Horse Sale Rescue

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Horse Sale Rescue

This is a discussion on Horse Sale Rescue within the Horse Talk forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category

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    07-30-2013, 01:26 PM
Horse Sale Rescue

I recently sold two horses, one too a lesson program & one too a seven year old little girl. Now I'm looking to buy a project horse. There's a horse sale every Tuesday night in the county next to me, I've been a few times, & I think that's where I'm going to go. The horses sell for unbelievably cheap; like 5 bucks cheap. I'm sure most of them go to killbuyers as well. I've been a few times, the horses are normally broke to ride (most of them), but are 100 or so pounds underweight. Give or take with every individual horse. They range from Arabians to Paints to Draft breeds. My boyfriend is also wanting to get a rescue horse for a project to start next Spring. Good idea or not? I know its a big gamble, but we'll take both of them up to the vet the next morning for shots & etc.
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    07-30-2013, 01:28 PM
Green Broke
Personally I think it's a great idea, but if you can, try to get a vet to see the horse before you buy to make sure nothing is wrong
    07-30-2013, 01:32 PM
In theory it's a good idea. I would bring someone very experienced with you, but if you can't, I would research what ideal conformation looks like and how to tell if a horse is drugged.
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    07-30-2013, 01:38 PM
My boyfriend & I are both experienced horse people - we'll be bringing two friends along also that know horses well. I would just rather buy two poor conditioned horses that have uncertain fate's than go & buy a young colt from a nice breeder or something.
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    07-30-2013, 01:43 PM
You will need a place to quarantine them after they come from the auction house, since you have NO idea where they have been, which in many cases includes previous auction houses. So they may have been exposed to just about anything, and it may not necessarily show symptoms yet. I personally would rather buy a young untrained horse than one someone else has screwed up, because it is easier, in many cases. JMHO.
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    07-30-2013, 08:31 PM
Green Broke
The horse I have came from an auction. I didn't get her by my friend did, and I bought her off him for the same price.

She turned out really well. Actually her temperament has improved significantly from the auction, so while you may be wary of drugged horses the ones who aren't are under a lot of stress.

Around here a few people buy horses from the nearest sales. The ridden ones sell for below market, the unridden for kill money. You've just got to make a good call, go early so you can hopefully see the horses arrive and meet the owners. If the horse is really actually decent often you'll find the owner there willing to talk to you and tell you about them. But this is probably more common in small sales.

If it seems really too good to be true then often it is. The other day there was this beautiful Appaloosa mare, registered, points, and because we were early we saw them leading her to the float and she was stepping short with one leg. "Miraculously" later she was sound. Still sold for a fair price as a broodmare but much below what she could have advertised elsewhere.

I'd probably actually look for the skinnier ones with poor feet, because to me that shows their owners can't afford or aren't inclined to care for them anymore. Where as a fat one with good feet, in good nick, well I wonder why it hasn't been sold on the open market.
    07-30-2013, 08:47 PM
If you are looking for cheap horses, yes it's worth it. Some are crazy, some are sick, some are good, it's a crapshoot really. Like franknbeans said, keep them quarantined if you have any other livestock around, you have no idea what they have been exposed to, and then coggins test them, you don't want to be spreading that around. I hate to say this, but I always found the purchase price of the horse insignificant, it's the maintenance & time & upkeep that I found the expensive part, so if I am going to shell out big bucks for that, it might as well be with the best horse I can buy, not a crapshoot horse.
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    07-31-2013, 09:30 AM
Super Moderator
I would just rather buy two poor conditioned horses that have uncertain fate's than go & buy a young colt from a nice breeder or something.

A good breeder spends a lifetime breeding good horses that will excel at what they are bred for. When people opt for cheap horses with unknown breeding, health and soundness, your chances of getting a horse as good as you can buy from a good breeder are somewhere between slim and none.

You can buy good untrained young horses at a sale, frequently registered or with a registration application and get a decent prospect if you know what you are looking for. Too many buyers frequently buy a horse because they feel sorry for it. Like a 'free' horse, it is usually the most expensive horse they could possibly acquire.

If you do buy a horse at an auction, don't hesitate to take it back to the next auction when it proves to be NOT the horse you thought you bought. You do not need to keep a money pit or any horse that does not work out to be suitable for what you need. You can put a lot of good money after bad if you are not willing to take one back.

I buy most of my older trail string horses from an auction only 3 miles from my house. About 2/3 of them go back 2 weeks later. They are unsound, wake up from the ACE, (that's what we named one of them) or have health or other issues that I do not need. I actually have 4 or 5 horses right now that were 'rescues' from the killer buyers (including the one in my profile with my 4 year old granddaughter riding), but most have gone back. I'm close and don't lose more than $50.00 -- a few make a $ or two. I'm not a trader; I want to only buy horses that will work for the job I have for them, will not have health or soundness issues and will last. Some of the geldings in my trail string have been here more than 10 years -- one for 13 years. Most came from the auction, but then I am not looking for 'performance prospects'. And by all means -- quarantine a new horse for 2 weeks and only handle it AFTER you have fed, handled and worked every other horse you are going to touch for that day.
    07-31-2013, 10:13 AM
I have bought a number of low end sale horses over the years; I've gotten a few really nice ones and I've ended up with a few nut jobs. I would probably look at the younger, unbroken sale horses if you are capable of starting one yourself. Buying at a sale is always a gamble, but IMO the young ones are less likely to have soundness issues & deep seated behavioral problems. An unbroken horse is also dirt cheap in this market & you would be doing them a favor by teaching them some "life skills" that might keep them out of the sale ring in the future.
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    08-02-2013, 01:14 PM
Around here horses sell cheap either way. There are a good 125 or so horses each week that go through the sale & go for 2-10 bucks. I saw 23 one morning get loaded on a stock trailer & head to lord knows where. I know three people who buy horses by the pound then ship them off. I have eight horses & a colt. I've had more issues out of a breeder bought Quarter Horse than I've had out of auction horses. I've ridden many, many up there. You get paid by the owners to ride the horse around the pen infront of the people to show they are broke, etc. Been thrown a lot but I've ridden some great horses up there. Now a days people will take them to the sale just because they can't get what they want out of the horse. I found a doll of a Paint Horse gelding broke for english or western, the girl took him to the sale because he didn't sell within 3 days. I know over half of the sale horses go to slaughter. I know signs of a horse being injured or sick, I pay attention to detail on horses- whether they be at a sale or in a round pen being ridden while I'm looking to buy it. My boyfriend's sister is a vet assistant & she is tagging along with us. The good thing about the sale is the owners are normally not very far from the horse/s they brought, so you can ask them to lead the horse around, check feet, check teeth, etc etc.

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