Horse auctions are known for being places where you can sometimes find a good horse for a low price. Looking for some some tips for buying a horse at auction? We've got you covered. Here are six things you should know before making your purchase.
Auctions Don’t Allow Returns
At auctions, sales are generally final. Most auction houses don’t allow horses to be returned, even in the incidence of a serious health issue. It’s important to realize that you are buying the horse as-is, and that the sale will be final.
You Generally Won’t Have a Chance to Test Ride
Most auction houses don’t allow buyers the chance to test ride horses ahead of time. In some cases you may be able to schedule a test ride a few days before the auction, but this policy varies. Test rides are sometimes not allowed at all because of liability risks.
Your New Horse Will Need To Be Quarantined
When horses are crowded together in an area like an auction, they may contract respiratory and other contagious diseases. Some of these diseases don’t show up for at least two or three weeks, so it’s important that you quarantine any horse you buy from an auction so that he cannot pass diseases onto the other horses at your barn. This can be a tedious process, and if you don’t have proper quarantine facilities, you may need to send your horse to another facility for the quarantine period.
First time owning a horse? Check out our popular article 7 Mistakes First-Time Horse Owners Should Avoid.
Sometimes Horses End Up at Auctions for a Reason
It’s sad to say, but it’s true – sometimes horses end up at auctions because they have issues which make them difficult to sell otherwise. Keep in mind that the horse you’re bidding on may have an unknown behavioral, training, or physical issue. On the other hand, horses head to auction for other reasons, too, and it’s also possible to find higher-quality horses, especially at breed or performance auctions.
It’s Easy to Get Swept Up in the Bidding
You may have your heart set on a particular horse, but be careful to keep your emotions under control when bidding. It’s easy to get swept up when you’re bidding against others, and you may find yourself spending far more than you had intended.
You Never Know What Your New Horse Will Be Like
Buying a horse at auction is a little bit like bringing home a mystery box. You’ve had a chance to observe the horse in the ring, but you still don’t know much about him, his previous training, or even his character. You can never be sure about what your new horse will be like.
If you do decide to head to an auction, make sure to bring another experienced horse person with you. Two sets of eyes can be helpful in identifying possible pros and cons to the horses up for auction.
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Do you have any tips you'd like to share about buying a horse at auction? Let us know in the comments below!