Some Helpful Hints
IS THE AUCTIONEERS JOB TO HELP DETERMINE THE PRICE.
The Seller has a responsibility
to announce defects, that they know of, in their horses, particularly
those that may affect the soundness of the horse for the purpose they
are advertised for. What is a defect to one person, may not be a defect
The Buyer has a responsibility
to examine a horse carefully before they bid on it. If you have any
particular concerns about conformation faults or defects, size, attitude,
stall manners, riding ability or anything else, check it out BEFORE
you bid. If you buy a horse on impulse, without shopping it before you
bid, you may expect to find some surprises. In that case you still own
the horse. The seller is not responsible for you, if you don't shop
the horse. Once you bid on a horse, you are indicating you have shopped
enough to satisfy yourself and no one else is responsible.
- READ THE CONDITIONS
OF SALE in the catalog. If you have questions, please call the
- CALL OUR OFFICE FOR
PHONE NUMBERS OF SELLERS TO GET MORE INFORMATION BEFORE THE SALE.
When you have selected some prospects in your catalog, call the sellers
before the sale and ask about the horse. It will save time. Make a
list, written or mental, of the things that are important to you in
a horse. Think about the good characteristics you want and also think
about the vices, habits or characteristics you do not want in a horse.
Consider what negative characteristics you can put up with if a horse
can serve your primary purpose well. Go through this checklist for
each horse you shop. Ask questions and make sure you get the answers.
Do this BEFORE you bid, because after you buy a horse you cannot change
your mind if you don't like the horse.
- What is the purpose
for your new horse? - Show, recreational riding, racing, breeding,
etc. Look for a horse that is bred for or trained for the type of
use you need.
- Conformation -
Examine the horse carefully for conformation defects that may affect
your use of the horse. Remember, the "perfect" horse has never been
found. Decide what characteristics are important to your purpose and
make sure these suit you. There are some areas where you may accept
some deviations from ideal conformation, if they don't cause a problem
- Appearance - A
pretty horse will always get your attention. We tend to fall in love
with a horse because of eye appeal, then hope it will suit our purpose.
Be sure to look past pretty and see if the horse really suits. Try
not to let color be your only criteria. If you want to show or breed
for the color breeds, it will be important. The more specific your
desire for a certain color, the harder it is to find the right horse
for the purpose.
- Soundness - Examine
the horse carefully for any blemishes that may cause soundness problems.
Watch the horse move and watch for lameness. Check the horses eyes
for obvious defects. Try to notice if the breathing sounds normal.
If you see something that concerns you, either mark this horse off
your list or get a veterinarian to examine the horse before you bid
- Veterinary examination
- Before you buy a horse, you may have a veterinarian examine it in
any way you want and the seller will allow. In most cases, a general
examination by a veterinarian will do quite well. This would involve
a visual examination for defects, watching the horse move, possibly
flexion tests and hoof testers and checking the eyes, wind and heart.
Some buyers have made arrangments with the seller and a veterinarian
to meet early at the sale grounds and allow time for an extensive
prepurchase exam, including radiographs. Other buyers have contacted
sellers to get a veterinarian to examine the horse before it comes
to the sale. REMEMBER, AFTER you purchase a horse the veterinary examination
allowed by the Sale conditions is very limited.
- Stable Manners
- If this is an important issue for you, then make sure you go to
see the horse in the stall. Ask the seller questions about how the
horse is in the stall or in the pasture, alone or with other horses,
how is it to groom, shoe, clip, load, haul or anything else that concerns
you. Also ask about cribbing or weaving. To some buyers these items
may not be as important as winning in the show ring. To others, this
area may be the most important characteristic to consider.
- Drugs and medication
- We feel this is not as much of a problem as some people suspect.
If you are concerned about a horse being drugged to mask a soundness
or performance problem, we can suggest a way to check that, if a problem
actually arises. You may have the veterinarian draw a blood sample
at the sale, at a small cost, and hold it pending the need to run
a drug screen. The cost of a drug screen is estimated to be $100 to
$150. If after a week you have not experienced problems, that could
have been masked by drugs, the veterinarian can discard the blood.
If you have a problem that you suspect was masked by drugs, and you
had a sample drawn at the sale, contact the sale management immediately
and the account will be held for review. We do not condone use of
drugs to misrepresent a horse. If the presence of a drug is found
that masked a problem, the seller will get the horse back, if you
have notified us in time. Please bear in mind that just because you
might not get along with your new horse, doesn't mean the horse was
drugged. Most horses need to adjust to new owners and places, and
owners need to adjust to the horse.
- Riding horses
- Watch the demonstration at the sale. If you are looking for a riding
horse make sure the owner's statement in the catalog says the horse
is broke to ride, see it ride or better yet, ride it. If you want
a horse for children or beginners, make sure the owner's statement
in the catalog mentions the horse has experience with this type of
rider and have the rider try the horse. If you are looking for a show
horse, watch the demonstration to see it in a show ring situation
and talk to the seller about maintenance and preparation.
- Breeding horses
- If the owner's statement in the catalog does not give the complete
breeding history, you may contact the seller, as well as checking
the appropriate breed association, for additional information. For
mares that are not in foal, check for visible defects in breeding
conformation. If the seller does not have results of a recent reproductive
examination, culture or uterine biopsy, you may want a veterinarian
to check the reproductive tract, as much as they can, at the sale
and base your decision on that information. For stallions, check for
visible defects in breeding conformation. On young stallion prospects
check for reproductive maturity consistant with their age and make
sure both testicles are down.
LISTEN FOR ANNOUNCEMENTS
like selling "breeding sound only" or "As Is" which mean the horse may
not be sound to ride.
YOUR PROTECTION IS YOUR
RESPONSIBILITY. Please examine horses carefully before you bid and
listen carefully to announcements made while the horse is in the Sale
IT IS YOUR JOB TO DECIDE WHICH HORSE TO BID ON.
Auction Services today to find out how you, too, can take full
advantage of this phenomenal marketing opportunity.