The Most Important Things to Know before Bidding at Horse Auctions

July 24, 2017

Have you been searching for hours for a new horse on the Internet or made trips all over the country looking for your next superstar? Our guess is that you still haven’t found “the one.” It’s time to consider buying horses and ponies at an auction! Horse auctions are known for being places where you can sometimes find a good horse for a lower price. Before you decide, however, to buy a horse at auction, here’s a shortlist of things to know before bidding at horse auctions.


Auctions don't allow returns


At horse auctions, sales are generally final. You won't have a chance to return the horse, even if you find out about a serious health issue. Every buyer should realize that he is buying the horse as-is, and that the sale will be final.


You generally won’t have a chance to test ride before buying


In most cases it is not allowed to test ride horses ahead of time, because of liability risks.


If you’re looking for specific horse breeds...


Check that the horse has a registered passport for that breed society.


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 planned.


You never know what your new horse will be like


Buying a horse at an auction is a little bit like bringing home a mystery box. You don’t know much about the horse, its previous training, or even its character. You can never be sure about what your new horse will be like.


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. 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.


Have a few horses in mind


There may be someone else who wants to buy your dreamhorse, too! So, be prepared to have a backup, or two, later in the sale.


If you do decide to head to a horse auction, make sure to bring another experienced horse person with you. Two sets of eyes are always helpful in identifying possible pros and cons to the horses up for auction.