I went to the monthly auction in GA last night - OK, I know it was Valentine's Day but after 40+ of them, I can get away with it once in a while.
The first 2 for sale were a pair of yearlings in bad shape, nothing that some feed and a bath couldn't cure but skinny. One was a "Saddlebred" and sold for $65. The other was a grade and sold for $35.00
During the sale I went back to check on a mini that I was waiting to come into the ring and heard a lot of commotion coming from one of the stalls (the stalls were ~15 x 40 with gates on the two ends like a pass through to get to the isle on the other side).
The grade filly (it was announced that she had only had a halter on once) had been snubbed to a post on the wall of the stall and was pulling back to the point of nearly choking. Instead of loosening the lead line, these morons kept kicking her to move her forward. When she didn't they kicked harder and she went down - still held fast to the post. Then these idiots yanked harder on the lead, pulled her tail, and kept kicking her. Thank goodness she finally got up. The six jerks that were doing this congratulated themselves and left the filly tied.
At one point I started to open the gate and go in there to loosen the lead line and have a few "words" with them but a woman that I knew stopped me and said that she knew the 6 of them and my going in there would be the worse thing I could do for that filly and myself.
When I went to look at the mini, there were a bunch of "yahoos" standing around him and one was trying to ride him. This cretin was ~6' and 190lb - the mini was ~32". THIS time I had plenty to say. The owner finally came over and said something too. When the mini finally made it to the sale ring, my bidding stopped at $50 over what I wanted to spend and guess who won the mini - the cretins.
There were some pittiful horses and a few nice ones last night. A registered QH, palomino, gelding came through that I saw in the back and wanted to watch. He was a 6 year old from OK that was just brought in from the range. He was broke as a 3 year old then let out to pasture. When I was him in the back, I looked him over and his mouth was scabbed on both sides - like he had a twisted wire bit that was worked back and forth on him recently. When they brought him in the ring the cuts had opened up and he had blood on both sides. He fought the bit and they took the bridle off to work him bridleless. He certainly had some training and worked very very well. This was a nice gelding. His bidding got up to $900 and they "no sale" him - wanting $1,200. If I was in the market, I would have paid the 1,200 gladly.
There were a few underweight long yearlings or 2 year olds that couldn't bring $200 and some broke ponies that went between $100 and $200. Some grade riding horses came through too. One well broke and gorgeous AQHA buttermilk gelding was the highlight of the sale and only brought $1500.
Anyway, that is my little rant. I was very disappointed at the quality of the horses, the condition, and the prices but that seems to be what is happening now.