I must confess: I get my thrills at horse sales.
By Kelli Neubert
March 23, 2016
Some people jump out of planes. Others do backflips on motorcycles or swim with the sharks.
I admit that I’m a bit of a thrill-seeker. But my adrenaline rush comes in the form of auctioneers, clipped muzzles, catalog orders and hip numbers. The buzz of a horse sale is unlike any other, and I just can’t seem to kick the habit.
Anyone who has attended a horse sale can probably relate to what I’m talking about—whether they attended a high-end, advertised catalog sale or just a local auction at the county yards. As with anything, you want to find the horses that fits your interests and needs. When I attend the right sales, I just love the shopping and sifting process of finding a potential equine partner amid all the chaos. Who’s going to be the sale topper? Who’s going to be the best buy? There’s an energy that accompanies horse sales that is captivating, educational and exciting at the same time.
The animals that run through the ring all carry a story with them. Some are simply a business transaction. Some are lifetime friends but became financially impossible to keep. Some are too old or too young to fit their previous owners, and some are diamonds in the rough. Horses, ponies, donkeys and mules—painted, solid colored, fuzzy or slick—they all have a past and I can’t help but hope that they each find their happy future when the auctioneer slams down his gavel.
It helps to have a list of what you’re looking for before you attend. Often, especially with a catalog sale, you can do research and be a more educated bidder. Days before or during the sale, ask consignors lots of questions, and bring a knowledgeable friend to discourage you from buying something you don’t need. When you attend a high-profile sale, it can be hard to find a bargain. But if you have a trained eye and are realistic about what you are hoping to find in a prospective horse, you can sometimes drive away with your ideal horse in your trailer at a below-market price.
I understand that horse sales aren’t for everyone. It’s not advisable for every horseman to purchase via an auction, and it’s not a guaranteed success. However, horse sales have been a fun, interesting and entertaining way for me to meet new people in the equine world and to learn more about the bloodlines and characteristics that appeal to the general public.
So next time you’re getting ready to bungee jump, don’t expect to see me there. But if you end up at a horse auction and you walk by a dark haired, sparkly-eyed girl with a pen in her hand, bent over a sale catalog jotting notes and writing down figures, be sure to introduce yourself.
I may even have an extra spot in my trailer to haul one home for you.