If you are intending to buy a horse at auction, you need
to be able to tell the quality horses from the problem horses.
Remember that most horses at auction are sold Ďas is', so
you do not have a guarantee and have little legal protection,
even if the horse has a serious problem. Consequently, you
need to do your own research on the horses in advance to identify
the ones that are worth bidding on and the ones which you
should keep away from.
The first step is to arrive well before the auction starts,
so that you have sufficient time to look over the horses.
Watch the horses are they are being unloaded and walked to
their pens. The horses should display overall good condition
and walk easily, without any sign of lameness. Given the noise
and strange surroundings, it is normal for a horse to be alert
and somewhat nervous; if they appear indifferent they may
well be drugged or too sick to care.
How do the people unloading the horse treat it? If they are
the owners and are gentle with it, apparently sorry to see
it go, it is likely that the horse has been well treated.
However, if they are treating it roughly, perhaps even whipping
it into place, then it may well be an abused horse with associated
Once the horses are unloaded, the next step is the go to
where they are penned or stabled. Watch how the horses move
and behave, eliminating any that have abnormal behavior. Look
for any scars or blemishes, which can indicate previous injuries
At this point, you will likely have eliminated most of the
horses from consideration and have a short list of possible
candidates. Try to find the owners for these and ask them
to tell you about the horse. Ask what illnesses or injuries
the horse has had. Inquire as to whether it has any bad behaviors,
habits or other problems. Ask how it has been kept and what
it has been used for.
At this stage, if you are still interested in a horse, ask
the owner (or other responsible person) if you can examine
it. If so, ask to have the horse removed from the pen to an
area where you can check it over, since working in a pen full
of strange horses is both distracting and potentially dangerous.
Look the horse over closely. Carefully examine the feet (including
the underside) and run your hands down the full length of
the legs to feel for old injuries. Look at the teeth for excessive
wear, loss or other issues. Put your thumb on one side of
the spine and a finger on the other side and push firmly to
see if the horse shows any discomfort or pain; starting at
the shoulder repeat this for the entire length of the back.
During your entire exercise the horse should appear alert
but should not shown signs of aggression or fear.
If at this point everything still looks good, add the horse
to your short list. If you don't see any horses that you are
absolutely happy with, it is best not to bid at all. Although
the sale price may not be that high, the cost of ownership
is substantial, so you need to be sure before making a commitment.
Once you have finished your short list, set a maximum price
for each horses; it is easy to get carried away at an auction
and pay too much so one should set a firm budget in advance.
Before bidding on a horse, make sure that you have a place
to keep the horse and to transport it there. If you haven't
made arrangements in advance, discuss with the auction staff
if they know of a reputable person that can do this for you.
At this point you should have a good idea of what horses
you are interested in, their condition and background. Good
luck with the bidding!
Author Resource:-> The article http://www.wowhorses.com/horse-auction.html
was written by Doug Stewart, the owner of http://www.wowhorses.com/