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.