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Afraid To Buy A Horse At Public Auction?
Here are 5 things to do to put the odds of getting a good horse in your favor.
Let me share a short story with you about public horseauctions and my friend Jack.
I'll show you how to buy a horse at auction so you won't getburned. Jack, an old time horse trader and I use totravel to horse auction all over the state. I'djust watch Jack and maybe later ask my questions.
Jack was usually pretty closed mouthed, but he let me inon his secrets to buying good horses at auctions.
#1 Arrive at the auction real early like 3 hours or morebefore the auction starts.
You want to be there as the horses arrive, so you can seewho brings them and how they unload and walk to their pen.
Who brings the horse? A horse trader, private party, woman,man, kid, also how many horses did they bring? You need toknow this so you have a clue as to who you will possibly bebuying from and who to talk to about the horse before youbid.
#2 If you see a horse you like the looks of, go to thehorses holding pen.
Watch the horse and how he moves. If the horse is tied upin the pen this could mean trouble as the horse owner mightnot want you to see the horse move. Check the horse forblemishes and soundness, make sure the legs are clean andthe hooves are healthy and maintained, there should not beany limping or signs of lameness.
I do not like scars, divots or bumps on the head and neck,This shows the horse has been in a wreck of some kind, whichcould mean the horse is prone to panic, I've been stuck witha couple of panic prone horses and they did hurt me. If youdon't know about lame horses and what to watch out for, takesomeone with you who does or don't bid.
Now the horse should show signs of life maybe be a littlebit excited, what with all the other horses and the newsurroundings, if not you could be looking at a druggedhorse.
#3 Talk to the person that brought the horse
you know this person because you seen them arrive. Makesure they are the owner of the horse, if not who are they?The standard stories are:
It's my neighbors horse, this often means it is my horse butI am not going to admit it to you, as I don't want to be heldaccountable for the lies I'm about to tell you.
Or I'm a dealer trying to pass off this horse as a good oldhorse so gentle to ride, the neighbor kid rode bareback onthe road when in reality it's a dink horse that he can'tsell off his trading string.
Jack use to saddle up to the person who brought the horseand softly ask; say can you tell me a little bit about yourhorse? ( then he SHUT UP! ). They would tell all the nicethings about the horse and Jack would just look at thehorse, not saying a word. After they got through the stringof lies or half truths, they would start getting nervousbecause it was so quite they thought they had to ramble onsome more and that's when a bit more of the truth starts toshow up, yeah old Barley don't buck except that one timewhen he broke my collar bone opps...
#4 Follow the horse from the pen to the sale ring
Jack use to walk right into the sale ring with the horse andwatch it move in the ring too. The other advantage is youcan see who is bidding. The owner or someone with them maybe running up the bid, you know this because you seen themarrive right?
Now you may not be able to get in the ring but you can stand next to it so you can see the horse and the crowd too. Mostowners try too hard to get their horse to ride well in thering which is usually too small to work a horse in anyway soyou get to see how the horse responds under pressure. Watchfor rearing, head tossing, humping up or crow hopping,usually the small size of the ring prevents them frombucking.
#5 If you still like the horse bid on it.
How much? Jack would only pay about $15 to $20 above killerprice. How much is that? You need to snoop around beforethe sale and ask the dealers or auctioneer, I've seen itrange from 15 cents to 1 dollar a pound, so that could meanfrom $150 to $1000 for a 1000 pound riding horse.
Jack was comfortable paying that price as he would take thehorse home, try them out, if there was a problem he wouldrun them through the next auction and not get hurt too bad,out $20 at most.
This works good if you, your wife, or kids don't fall inlove with old Barley, Jack use to say if you don't sendthem right back to the auction. you end up with a field fullof cripples and buckers.
You can get a nice horse at a rock bottom price followingthis method. My experience has been that I can get olderwell trained horses that people are bailing out on becausethe kids all left home and they don't want to feed the horseany more, or they just were flash in the pan horsemen andneed the money for a quad runner.
I have also bought young unbroke horses that people do nothave the skill to train, if you think you want a go at that,make sure you have a medical plan and go for it.
I do not pay top dollar for exceptional horses at auctionsbecause, again experience has taught me there are noexceptional horse at these auctions, if you think there aresome there, look close as there is usually a hole in themsomewhere.
Now put this plan into action and you will find a nice horsethat you can use and even make a profit on if you so chooseat some time in the future, just do all the steps and youwill get the successful results.
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