Horse Auction Tips

Ranch production sales and premier horse show auctions are drawing closer. Whether you are a buyer looking for a good deal or a consignor hoping to get the best price for your horse, a few guidelines can translate to a successful sale. Larry Meadows, a horse breeder and auctioneer in Mize, Mississippi, has a few tips for buyers and sellers alike. While owning and operating Meadows Livestock Sales for more than 25 years, Meadows has observed what practices result in the best auction ring deals.

 



If you're buying:

1. Preview the horses. It's easy to get caught up in the moment during an auction. But thoroughly inspecting and identifying the horses before the sale begins will help you make a more rational bid.

"Don't get caught up in the sale,"Meadows says. "Know what you're buying. If you can, have the consignor ride the horse. Make sure the [registration] papers and the horse match.

"It also helps to know the person that you're buying from.%d3;

2. Know there's no returns. To help temper your bidding, understand that at most horse auctions, all sales are final.

"It's not like a retail store,"Meadows says. "You can't take your horse back if you don't like it."

Also, before the bidding begins, thoroughly read the sale's guidelines.

If you're consigning:

1. Feed and clean. If consigning your horse to a sale, understand that a horse's appearance is directly related to how many bids it attracts. Make sure you have enough days or weeks to develop a shiney haircoat, a flowing mane and tail and a fleshy body condition.

"Don't just pull your horse out of the pasture and go to the sale,"Meadows says. "It's important for it to be in good physical condition. It's a lot easier to sell a horse that's fat and pretty."

2. Get ready for the ring. Many horses are unfamiliar with the loud, close-quarters of a sale ring. No matter how well your horse is trained, stepping into an auction atmosphere can be unnerving.

Meadows advises consignors to expose their horses to a similar environment, where it's loud and crowded. It's also a good idea to ride your horse in a small pen so it gets used to walking and trotting in a tiny circle.