I went to my first auction tonight. It was a bout 1 1/2 hours from my house.
I thought it was going to be all skinny horses, all in terrible condition, but they weren't.
All looked to be in good health. There were a few that kept shifting their weight back and forth and a few, that my friend said, would most likely end up in the KP (Kill Pen). That was really sad :(
I was unable to stick around for the actual auctioning off of the horses though, so I don't know how much any of them went for.
There were people there that would saddle and bridle a horse for you (if it was saddle broke) that you could ride. I didnt do this as I didn't have my helmet... or my vest for that matter.
I was there for the auctioning of tack. OH my goodness did things go cheap! I was able to get a nice leather puncher (something i've wanted for a while) for $6! I couldn't believe it. Saddles were going for around $200 (all western though) English and western bridles were going for between $5-10 I believe.
They also had about 5 or 6 8ft lunge whips! I've never seen whips that large! They went for $5 or $6 I think. (the guy spoke too fast for me to remember everything)
I have to say, from all the negative things you read/hear about auctions, I was pleasantly surprised at the shape of the horses, and they all had access to nice nice looking hay and water.
Just thought I'd share my experience...