The Horse Forum banner

1 - 6 of 6 Posts

133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If i see a draft listed online in my area it seems to be an ex-amish draft. Usually from an auction/kill pen/horse flipper, so that worries me a bit but im not sure how else they would be able to sell a horse anyways? I mostly see belgiums, but i have been casually wanting to scoop up a percheron mare if one comes up.

I am assuming Amish horses are not registered? Is that a safe assumption?

Most of what i see is middle teens, how concerned about lameness should i be? Are the Amish typically honest? Like if i saw an amish draft at the auction do the amish usually hang around so i could ask questions? Or does someone typically drop off for them?

Is temperament usually fine? Part of why i put Texas, i know there are Amish individuals but i was curious if the local group/s had a good/bad reputation.

Super Moderator
14,681 Posts
Amish horses are work animals not pets....if they can't earn their keep the animal is gone is common.
They are taken care of but not truly pampered as the Amish in general do not pamper but work a life and live a life of basics.
I don't know about registered stock, but the horses are often pure blood as the Amish breed their own using neighbors stock to keep from inbreeding is what it was in the Penn dutch country years ago, not thinking it would be otherwise in other areas of the Amish in this nation.
I remember seeing many Percheron as either dark brown or blacks were commonly seen roadside working fields, at the store or church in town.
All the horses were shod as I remember listening to the ringing of shoes as the animals trotted down the road on their way to a destination.
The lighter boned horses pulling the road buggy are said to often be Standardbred horses.
I've read references that some have Morgans, but can't say that I could tell the difference just driving past taking a peek at the horse.
All the horses I have seen have been well fed, not skinny, glistening coats and muscle rippling...

You can read in many threads here, articles written about and from just general research...
The animals are extremely well-trained to do their jobs efficiently, quietly, and completely.
They are good with children and other animals around them as often you find lots of children and other animals on a farm.
Horses are not pampered but working animals.
They are started and worked from early age till when they can no longer do their fair share and then many are sold off, some going to a auction and because of that they are big and heavy which is the kill buyers favorite to buy cause they make a weight limit load faster...
I don't think the Amish retire and keep many pasture ornaments, they can't afford to, literally. But they do keep a few "special" ones.
Some of the horses that go through the sales have some kind of issue they no longer can work as hard for their prior owner so sold...but it does not mean they are not usable but just not as hard as the life they knew in a Amish household.
I would never buy sight unseen, no hands on evaluation done and would prefer to have a vet to do a simple wellness check at the pen before buying first or waiting for the number to show up and bid with others...
I'm sure the horses owners are nearby to be paid, but they are not just hanging out as you think.
Some animals are dropped off and a set fee is paid for the animal and they leave...other times, ....think it is very animal and family specific arrangement.
Amish though I knew did not easily mingle with just anyone, they stuck to their own.
I got to know because of neighboring community families and friends of friends who introduced us...
Those were my experiences with some of the animals and people we knew who lived in the Amish community or nearby or bartering skills as needed with the Amish.
I remember many from the Amish community and the way of life they chose was different than mine, and for me, always interesting to learn different....

686 Posts
I have an ex-Amish buggy horse (half Clyde) and I'd never go down that road again. He's a sweet boy but his mind is blown and his feet were trash. Some Amish raise drafts for the high end big hitch market so a lot of them will be registered, but those probably aren't the ones going through the auctions. A lot of driving people will tell you that the older Amish drafts are used up, worn out and mind-blown. I'm sure there are jewels amongst the rubbish, but a good tool is rarely discarded until it's broken beyond repair. That's what horses are to them. Caveat emptor.

299 Posts
I really think it depends on the individual. My horse's trainer is Amish. Horses are his livelihood. He usually has a barn full of training horses, and he also buys horses to train and sell at auction. I believe he breeds both registered and unregistered stock. He doesn't pamper his horses like I do, but their health is important to him. I know that he will stick around at auctions to talk to buyers.

7,826 Posts
I don鈥檛 know about the drafts, but the Morgan Amish buggy horses are generally registered (with nice bloodlines) and will show up at both low and high end auctions. At the kill pen type auctions they seem to be more of the 鈥渄iscards鈥 and have been worked hard. Different people will have different opinions of the training and care, but I think almost any horse coming from any lower end auction is going to have some issues to work out.

133 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks guys. This is helpful. I had read through some of the other threads as well but this gave me a clearer picture. I was mostly curious if it was worth the time to bother looking when i see them come up. This helps narrow that down.
1 - 6 of 6 Posts