Buying a Horse at a Horse Auction

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If you’re looking to buy a horse, typically you would look at advertisements for horses for sale. But there’s another route you can choose: buying a horse at a horse auction. There are advantages and disadvantages to buying a horse at auction. Is it right for you?


One of the top reasons that people buy horses at auctions is because of the typically lower price. Bidding for horses at auctions starts at each individual horse’s lowest possible price, and then depending on the number of people who want to buy the horse, the price increases with each bid. Many of the beginning prices are much less than what the horse would typically sell for; the idea of auctions is to sell horses quickly.

Unknown History

Getting a good deal at a horse auction isn’t a sure thing, though. Although a horse might look perfectly fit and healthy, there can be underlying issues that you might not be aware of until you get the horse home. Training issues, old injuries, and behavioral issues are just some of the reasons that horses end up at auctions. When you buy a horse at auction you will generally have no idea about his history. You also won’t have an opportunity to have a prepurchase exam done, so you could unknowingly bring home a sick or injured horse.

Similarly, you will probably not have any knowledge of a horse’s training or riding history. Some auctions provide you the opportunity to test ride a horse if you get there early enough, but many do not. Some auctions have auction workers ride the horse into the auction ring so you can get a basic sense of the horse’s movement and behavior under saddle, but even this is limited. You will not have the chance to really observe a horse’s movement and behavior under saddle that you would if you were buying a horse for sale by a private party.


Many of the horses that end up in horse auctions may be in need of good nutrition and medical care. Horse auctions can be a chance for you to rescue a horse in need and provide it with a caring and loving home.


If you buy a horse at an auction, transporting him home will be your responsibility. Some auction houses offer overnight stabling for a fee, but you will want to be prepared with transportation for your horse. Thinking of buying a horse at an auction? Then looking at horse floats for sale ahead of time may be a good idea.

There are definite advantages and disadvantages to buying a horse at an auction. It’s up to you to decide whether you’re comfortable with the risks.

TOPHORSE–browse horses for sale or place an ad to sell horses

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