Sale Barn Horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 05-20-2012, 08:31 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Indiana
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Post Sale Barn Horse?

Hello my people! Ok, so we know that I am saving my money for a horse. Well, I have started to look for places that are local. Here are my options:

Someone who is selling their horse- Through a website called
A sale barn- This is where you buy the horse for the price the owner says. They auction off only chickens and ducks. And they sell all other animals. I mean ALL other animals. They even have zebra's for sale! Peacocks, baby lions, but those are on seperate days. I would go on a day when there is only horses so I won't have to wait for the auction to be over. I saw a REALLY nice paint horse in a pen that had already been bought, because we drive past this place like EVERY day. I would really rather take this option over the others. Because they have nice horses, and I would be saving one from slaughter. 85% of the horses that go in there and perfectly fine.
A feed barn- The owner of the feed barn would call around and help me find the perfect horse. A little weird situation I would say, but I would take anything!
And someone in my saddle club group - The saddle group is HUGE over 300-500 people participate every year. So there is always 5-10 people who are getting a newer, better horse, and want to sell theirs, or they are going to college. So after the fair this year, I will go and look around all the age groups and ask everyone if they know of any horses for sale. Or they might put them all in one pen and point out the ones for sale.

So please tell me wise ones. Which of these options is best for an intermediate rider?

Hello! I wish I had a horse of my own.... I am working hard to earn $1500 this year though! There just doesn't seem to be very many good horses on the market though......
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post #2 of 10 Old 05-20-2012, 08:51 AM
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Missouri
Posts: 16,846
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A good horse can be found anywhere.

Dealers are good if you want to try the horse and have an option to return it.

Pony club can be good because everyone generally knows their work ethic and usually don't come with a lot of surprises (like poor training)

Private sellers can be a bit squirrely.. but there are some good horses out there in need of a home.

Wherever you buy it doesn't matter, evaluate your level of riding experience (you said intermediate, what does that mean in terms of what you can do or feel comfortable doing with a horse) and find a horse that fits it best.

It's always good to look at a lease with buying option, though. You try what you want and get what you pay for.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
Skyseternalangel is offline  
post #3 of 10 Old 05-20-2012, 09:39 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Southwest Missouri
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First of all don't set yourself up for disappointment by having the "I'll take anything" approach while horse shopping. A nice/good looking horse in a sale barn stall maybe just that, nice to look at as in pleasing to the eye to look at, but in reality could be a major set back in ownership with major problems presenting with the horse once you get it in your possession. I have gone to many horse auctions and got to know many horse traders by reputation who run nice looking horses through the bidding that are totally unmanageable after the new owner gets them home. Those same horses appear time after time at the same auction sale barn. Thus that is how some horse traders make a few bucks/dollars on each horse they run through the auction. Unless you go to a Registered Consignment Sale. Those Consignment sales are run by professional Equine Contract Auctioneers.

I do believe your best choice would be to check among your saddle club membership for a prospective horse to buy. You would no doubt have some history on the horse coming from a co-member of the saddle club.

Good Luck and Best Wishes for a successful Horse Search...
candandy49 is offline  
post #4 of 10 Old 05-20-2012, 09:55 AM
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Palmyra, Wisconsin
Posts: 6,092
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I've been happiest buying from a private owner or breeder. Someone who may have some desire to get a good match & will allow you to spend time with the horse & on more than one occasion. For me a pre-purchase exam is a must.
That said, it took me 5 years of looking before I settled on a horse so maybe I don't know what I'm talking about.
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post #5 of 10 Old 05-20-2012, 05:07 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Posts: 1,292
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ive boughten all but one of mine from privet people from the paper, or online. and one moms horse from a sale who turned out pretty well
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post #6 of 10 Old 05-20-2012, 05:28 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: South Carolina
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I think you are thinking about horse ownership in a very emotional and romantic way....and therefore do not realize that you are asking the wrong question.

Let me give you an example that has nothing to do with horses to illustrate what I mean:

Let's say you've been invited to a very formal ball. You found the perfect red gown to wear. Now you just need the perfect shoes to match. They need to be fancy, comfortable enough to dance in and preferably red.

So you are in the market for the perfect shoes. Should you buy them online, at a discount shoe store, or from a specialty shop? would buy from the person selling the "perfect shoes" - right?

Just as you would never shop with an attitude of "I'll take anything" when it comes to shoes - you should never shop that way for horses! Try them out - make sure they "fit" and are suited for the purpose that you need.

Shop around - look at lots of places and at lots of horses. Eventually, you should find the one that's perfect for YOU.

Good luck!
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Leasing a spoiled rotten trail horse...pretty - but a brat!
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post #7 of 10 Old 05-20-2012, 07:01 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Missouri
Posts: 3,771
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To me, you would be better off buying from someone you know and that knows your skills. Someone that has a horse with some major issues, might lie to you and get you hurt, which I think would happen less with people you know, however don't take that for a certainty as a horse that will behave fine for me, might act like the village idiot for you, it all depends on what you know when you are dealing with a horse.

I would be more leery of auction house, as you can get caught up in the moment and lose your head and buy something that is not good for you.

I am also unaware if you have facilities to keep horse, and if parents are on board about this, you may have said somewhere, but don't know, and for all I know you may be 100 years old too, but am thinking you are young?

That said, if you want, I can talk to farrier I know from IN, and see if he has anything that might suit, if you would PM me what it is you want, in terms of training, age, discipline, mare or gelding and price. He generally knows all sorts of horses for sale.

Horses make me a better person.
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post #8 of 10 Old 05-20-2012, 07:05 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Surrey BC
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take your time
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Country Woman

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post #9 of 10 Old 05-20-2012, 07:46 PM
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: NYC and NJ
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I think the best option would always be to buy a horse whose history you know and whose present owners are acquaintances. That way, you have the best chance of getting something that fits your skills and interests, and the least chance of being misled by the seller. I would also suggest a pre-purchase exam of some kind to avoid problems that might not have surfaced.

Unless you (or your parents / trainer) are a very experienced, adult horse person I would not purchase a horse from a sale barn or auction. It is tempting to save a horse from slaughter and the prices are often low, but you can't tell what you are getting into. You could be hurt or killed, or end up with an unridable animal.
maisie is offline  
post #10 of 10 Old 05-20-2012, 08:27 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle of nowhere, Missouri
Posts: 202
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Just a word on the sale barns and slaughter horses and yeah I know I'm going to get flamed to death on this.

Some horses are going to slaughter for a reason; lameness, age, disposition. There is a woman not far from me that buys up slaughter horses to save them, noble woman, right?

Out of 115 horses she's bought in the past 2 years, 79 of them were put down within a week of her hauling them home. Yes, some were put down due to health issues, but the majority were put down due to mental issues. They were flat out, bug nuts insane.

I'd skip the auction and look for a horse that someone you or your trainer knows well and trusts. Just my .02 worth.
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