How do horse auctions work? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 20 Old 08-06-2012, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Minnesota
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Question How do horse auctions work?

I frequently see that people are taking unwanted/unpurchased horses from auctions and things, or saving them from slaughter. I was wondering if anyone knows how that works? I live in MN, if anyone knows about any good resources, I'd love your input! I'm just looking for another project horse, and I would love to take a horse (free is always best) that otherwise may not have had a chance. I'm big into rescue horses and OTTBs, but they sometimes require that you own them for life or return them to the rescue- not so great for project horses unfortunately.
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post #2 of 20 Old 08-06-2012, 11:26 PM
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Well.. You go pay for an auction number, then you find a horse with a nice conformation and a seemingly good disposition. Usually the "rescues" are ones that are being sold by the pound (for meat). You train the horse, and then sell it to a person who will hopefully have a lifetime of good memories ahead with the horse. It's smart to do this in the fall, because people are getting rid of their horses that they don't want to feed for the winter. And when spring comes people are looking to buy horses to ride in the nice weather. Good luck!
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post #3 of 20 Old 08-06-2012, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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horses from auctions

Sorry, perhaps I worded that poorly.. I'm actually wondering where I might find auctions. Does anyone know of any good websites where they might be posted by region?? I'm new to the auction thing. I was just hoping to try something new. Thanks!
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post #4 of 20 Old 08-07-2012, 01:05 AM
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Well here's how they work around here. You pull up and there's trucks and trailers everywhere. Horses that have never been to town are tied to trailers and they're pullin back and breaking equipment. People are dressed like cowboys and cowgirls, but most of em are trail riders at best. There's skinny horses and culls everywhere you look. Some kids are riding a horse double that they have no business on, and it's bouncing off the trucks and trailers having a runaway. Over yonder there's the sound of a horse banging and scrambling and falling out of a trailer. Lots of horses pawing and generally acting impatient.

You walk inside the building and it's chaos. In the crowd there's dudes and dealers and in the ring there's a loud colered Walkaloosa with a knocked-down hip and a parrot mouth that won't gait right. They "lost the papers" but still the people are ooooing and aaaahing over it. Some kid jumps on it bareback with a halter and pulls it in a couple circles, then jumps off before the fireworks start. If you do see a good lookin horse, BEWARE! There's a hole in it somewhere. It's either blind, crippled, crazy, schitzophrenic, deaf, dumb, flips over when you get on, bucks, bites, cribs, kicks, foundered, criptorchid, snaky, stringhalted, stifled, wind-broke, or a combination of these.

Beware of the horse traders and jockeys. They're the fat ones standing in the ring with stock poles. They're fat because they don't actually ride, just go to sales and lie to people. You can spot em in the parking lot. They'll have a shiny new truck pulling 39 head of horses in a 24' stock trailer. They pay punchy kids $5 a head to ride horses thru the sale and the horses never seen a saddle

There's buted horses, sedated horses, and tranquilized horses. There's lies and exaggerations. There's wrecks and pandemonium.
did I miss anything? heehee just providing entertainment

Last edited by AmazinCaucasian; 08-07-2012 at 01:08 AM.
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post #5 of 20 Old 08-07-2012, 01:25 AM Thread Starter
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horses from auctions

Wow, very informative but that sounds crazy! There must be some good that comes from auctions because I feel like I've seen people post about getting horses from them a lot. I guess I was just dreaming a little too big.. That sounds a little out of my league. Thanks for the info!
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post #6 of 20 Old 08-07-2012, 01:27 AM
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Depends on the auction... BLM Auctions you have to qualify by filling out an application... you get a number and usually it's a silent bid where you write your bid on the paper on the horse's corral.The highest bidder wins!
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post #7 of 20 Old 08-07-2012, 07:05 AM
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id never buy a horse at auction, too much lieing and cheating, and usually yo have no recourse. Private sellers tend to lie and cheat as well but at least you can go ride the horse a few times, get a vet check, draw a blood sample to save for later. and do a drive by to observe the horse a couple times. Generally the cheapest part of the horse is the horse. Id rather spend a bit extra on a horse than to go to the auction and get a "deal" only to be stuck with huge vet bills, extra farrier bills, food bills, etc. Or stuck with a horse that I cant resell because I am not a liar like most horse sellers. Yeh I know that is a rough statement, but lately I have been looking for an arabian in my area on Horseclicks and dreamhorse. EVERY SINGLE ADD, yes EVERY as in 100% of the adds that caught my fancy contained lies.
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post #8 of 20 Old 08-07-2012, 07:59 AM
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If you are just looking for auctions in your area and don't know where they are held, you may have luck asking at your local feed store or actual feed mill. Or at vet clinics. Auction barns have vets on hand the day of sale.

I've purchased horses from auctions in MI, MT and WY and have picked up some really nice low end horses. It's not where I'd go for papered stock, but just some good, rideable horses for trail riders and general ranch work. If you go, take a level-headed friend who might help you choose one(s) that will actually fit your needs.

You can't 'save' them all. Or, at least, I can't afford to.
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post #9 of 20 Old 08-07-2012, 09:00 AM
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They're not all bad at the auctions. I've sent a horse through the auction that I just could not manage to sell. Not a thing wrong with her physically or mentally. She was just green broke and overweight. Too much for me as a beginner rider at the time.

My poin is that you can find a horse that is sound physically and mentally, and you did say you're looking for a project horse. Occasionally you'll find a very good deal on a nice broke horse. They're usually the ones that have their owners ride them through.

Anyway, to answer your question, google it. Type "sale barns near ____, _____". Sometimes you have to call and ask when the horse sales are.

You never know what they're like until you go. The ones I go to are not as traumatic and life scarring as people have listed above haha :)
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post #10 of 20 Old 08-07-2012, 11:47 AM
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I've gotten 3 good horses at auction. 2 went for $60 each and a nice big QH for $400. You just have to know what you are looking for.
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The outside of a horse is good for the inside of man.........unknown
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auction , project , rescue , rescue horse

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