How do horse auctions work? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 20 Old 08-07-2012, 04:00 PM
Join Date: Jul 2012
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You've got to be aware of scammers when you go. We got my little sister a really nice horse at an auction near us. Then we've gone looking door a horse and saw scammers trying to sell lame, blind, deaf, or green horses as "bomb prof ones
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post #12 of 20 Old 08-07-2012, 05:53 PM
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Simon Horse Company - Twin Cities Horse Sales
Don't know if this helps, but here's what I came up with.

"If your horse doesn't respect you then forget about your horse liking you. Further, if your horse doesn't respect you then all you are is a nutrition source . . . just like the grass on the ground." ....Buck Brannaman
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post #13 of 20 Old 08-07-2012, 06:45 PM
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AC pretty much summed it up! If anything else go for the people watching!

I worked for a few horse auctions back when I was young. I was paid to ride ride horses through. Also the owner would pick up horses, I would sneak rides on them and next month I would ride them through again. I also would buy horses and do the same but ride them at a different sale.

Things to think about... I would go to the auction a couple times before you think about buying a horse. Watch who brings the horses in. Horse Traders(the sneaky ones) usually have a pattern. They hit the same sales and if they got a bad rep. They will pay one of the auction kids to ride his horses through or find some young kid who wants to a horse trainer to do it, so he isn't seen with the horses and no one will touch it with a ten foot pole. Usually you see the same people every month and you learn who are the horse traders, the tack traders and the wanna bes that die out eventually who can't make a little money doing it.
Also pay attention to the ring men, at some of the less reputable sales, the ring men will call bids that aren't there to roll the price.
Pay attention to who your bidding against.
If you go to neighboring sales, pay attention to the horses, sometimes if a horse is really bad, you will see him at a different sale the next week.
Doping, if you see horses that are maybe a little lethargic, their penis is dropped, he is stretched out but not peeing..pass. Not sure what drugs, if any they use now, but back then Ace was popular and accessible and if giving just a little too much had that effect.

Not all horse sales have crappy horses, but you really have to pick through them. In my opinion you have to have a keen eye for horse flesh to get a super buy.
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post #14 of 20 Old 08-07-2012, 06:47 PM
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AC, that depiction was... BEYOND ACCURATE!
I got my first horse from a sale, as we were driving up we almost hit a kid riding a grey mare bolting across the entrance. Ended up buying her for $505, $5 more than the meat man. She was bulletproof and I wish I had 10 more like her.

If I were you or inexperienced I'd go for a scrawny yearling, but right now there are some REALLY good untouched/green horses going through. I agree, go to your feed store, they know EVERYTHING!

You can get a lot further with a ladder than you can with crutches!!
What do you mean what do I mean?

Last edited by FlyGap; 08-07-2012 at 06:50 PM.
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post #15 of 20 Old 08-07-2012, 07:31 PM
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Location: Oklahoma
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Joe Simon has many sales in the Twin Cities. He comes down to our sales here in Oklahoma in the spring and early summer and usually buys a semi-load of broke horses to take back and sell through his monthly sales.

Here is his schedule. His next 'regular' sale is the 14th. Simon Horse Company - Twin Cities Horse Sales

Go to one sale without any intention of buying. You will be able to identify the slaughter buyers real quick. They usually stand in the ring or very close to it and they will bid (usually just a nod of their head) on all of the cheap horses. You will soon see how much they are paying and know how much you should have to pay.

Auctioneers and killer buyers will 'run you up' if you go around running your mouth. Just sit back where you can watch them and you will get a real good idea of what is going on. It may not be what it seems.

NEVER buy one from a KB. They will usually ask $100.00 more than they paid or even more than that. If you think one of them is running you up, just quit bidding and let them get it. They will stop running you up.

Pay real close attention to legs and feet. If you buy one and you decide it not going to work for you, bring it back to the very next sale and find another. Too many people just throw away good money after bad. There is no honor in 'saving' a useless horse.

They are waaay down here right now. They get really cheap every summer and fall and are worse now because of the drought and high hay prices. Don't worry about one being thin. Beware of fat ones because they are most often either 'bad actors' and really spoiled or are crippled. They are also a lot higher priced. Look for good legs, good feet (probably very long) and pretty heads. Color helps a lot when you go to sell them.

Let us know what you end up getting.
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post #16 of 20 Old 08-07-2012, 09:41 PM
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Well, over the years (too many, LOL) I have bought a LOT of nice horses from auctions. However, I know what I am looking for, I know all the tricks the traders use, and I know the traders. So I know what to stay away from. I can pretty much tell if a horse has been drugged or rode to exhaustion prior to the sale. But all this comes from YEARS of experience, so I would advise you to be very, very careful. There is a huge amount of dishonesty in most of the sellers that you find at an auction.

Best if you spend a good bit of time at the auctions only OBSERVING for a long time. Talk to people and "feel" out the crowd, most people love to tell you who to watch out for. Don't talk to the traders, the only time they open their mouth is to tell another lie.

Also, if you can find someone to take with you to look out for you who knows the auction scenario, lingo and players, that would be priceless! Hope this helps.
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post #17 of 20 Old 08-07-2012, 10:13 PM
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I have had a lot straighter stories come from traders than from individuals. There are 3 or 4 at our regular sales here that I would not touch a horse from, but there are several traders that I have bought several horses from. I have 4 or 5 horses in my trail string right now that came from this sale from traders and they are exactly what they were supposed to be.

I used to buy a lot of 'project horses' for people I knew. I had 'standing orders' for nice, young registered geldings that were not started (so were not spoiled) and had some color. I used to pick one or two up at just about every sale and would call the person I knew was looking for one. I can only think of one or two that the people did not have work out for them. The 'project horse' market has about dried up around here.

I have a 10 year old big, stout paint gelding I bought 2 sales ago from an individual. We are still trying to see if we can straighten him out enough to work for us. [Looks doubtful right now.] He was 100% counterfeit and cold backed and the guy and his girlfriend swore they would put any little kid on him. They just needed the money and could not afford to keep him. Yah -- right!
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post #18 of 20 Old 08-07-2012, 10:57 PM
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It depends on the sale too, some sales seem to have worse horses than most. It really depends on who's running it in my experience. (I am excluding ranch production sales)

Certain sales get a reputation. I don't like the sale that is down the road from where I live now, and that is just from watching one horse go through and watching tack sell. Any decent tack, the owners and the usual tack traders that are friends with the owner, takethe good stuff behind and keep for themselves. One horse owned by the owner went through and they rolled the bids so high that his friend had to "buy" the horse...hmmmm.
A reputable sale will not allow parking lot dealings, and this sale you can see trading horses and tack in the parking lot.

I forgot to mention, not sure if they do it anymore, A trader clip. A trader usually tried to clean a horse up by a face clip and a boot clip. Something to look for, especially if he was multiple horses. Usually the horses aren't clippable, they had to be drugged and twitched to be clipped.

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post #19 of 20 Old 08-08-2012, 05:22 AM
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Go with a strong stomach.

I go with friends quite often just to look... It is an education. And I've found a few that I thought were real buys. But I don't buy. I'm looking and learning.
My friends have gotten some really nice horses.

A few years ago, it killed me to see a truckload of young saddlebreds come through the auction from downstate. These were absolutely beautiful horses under 2 yrs. with papers. They sold for $15 each. I cried. And then I cried some more. It was a LONG time before I went again.

Not all auctions are alike. Do some research and try to pick one that will let you sleep at night unless you're prepared to save the ones that touch you.

You will see everything. Amazing things, despicable things. You'll laugh, and ooh...and ahhh...and then you'll want to go throw up and/or kill someone.
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I'm not a complete idiot--there are parts missing!

What you have become is the price you paid to get what you used to want.
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post #20 of 20 Old 08-11-2012, 12:15 AM
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There was an old man west of here that used to run to all the sales and buy horses. He always made money with this trick:

He'd buy decent looking horses that just needed cleaned up. He'd quickly take it out back, body clip it, brush baby oil all over it, and ride it back thu.

If the sale took a while, he could do several head
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auction , project , rescue , rescue horse

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