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.
Sit tall in the saddle, hold your head up high, keep your eyes fixed where the trail meets the sky, & live like you aint afraid to die, & don't be scared, just enjoy your ride.