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Anybody here ever adopted a rescue?

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  • #21
    Originally posted by Guilherme View Post

    Divorce, loss of job, family emergency, or other life misfortunes.

    Or the horse is perfect until it sees a red pickup and then it goes absolutely feral.

    You just don't know.

    As to the connections between rescues and auctions, maybe so and maybe not. Scoundrels will always find a way to separate the gullible from their "chump change."

    G.
    I just figure if someone has a sound sane well broke horse that is under 15, they stand a fairly good chance of selling it privately for a bit more than auction meat price. It's always possible that a horse like that could get caught up in a human life emergency of course.

    I do know several people who have done fine with horses out of the auction rescue pipeline. These have all been unbroke younger horses. There's a QH breeder in the next province who unloads his 2 year old culls into the rescue network, and there was another breeding herd of Welsh/QH ponies that belonged to an old man who had a stroke, and they got seized when he was unable to feed them.
    ​​​​​​
    in those cases you need the skills to break a young horse but they are sound, sane, and reasonably well bred (though no papers).
    ​​​​​
    We also have a bottomless supply of "wildies" off the rural native reserves that people also turn into good using horses but their conformation is much more variable (I had one as a kid, great pony, the local dude string brought them in by the truckload in the spring and broke them on trail rides).

    I would absolutely consider a horse of my preferred breed that came through that kind of auction rescue situation, nice enough unbroke/ neglected young stock from a hoarder etc.

    Indeed I keep forgetting in all this that my own current horse came out of an auction as a really obnoxious two year old! I didn't meet her until later after she was broke to ride and had learned to like people.

    In all these cases the horses were sound sane and had good functional confirmation and the "missing piece" was that they were unbroke. IMHO unbroke is the easiest problem to deal with better than creeping navicular or an established habit of rearing and flipping.

    Anyhow just saying that around here people with horsemanship skills are doing ok in the end picking up younger unbroke nice enough horses out of the rescue pipeline. The horses don't have any long term trauma and indeed it's scarcely different than if you bought the same unbroke horse off the range ( except no papers and probably cheaper).

    On the other hand I dont know anyone who bought an adult horse that was well trained to ride out of the rescue or auction pipeline, without also taking on some health or behaviour issues that might or might not have been evident when they bought the horse.

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    • #22
      You're right on most counts. But there are times when you have to sell a nice horse NOW, not in a couple of weeks after you have done some proper marketing. Auctions fulfill that need.

      G.
      Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

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      • #23
        Absolutely. It does happen. But from the buyers perspective it pays to be really cautious and dubious. I can't count the number of threads we get here on COTH from people who acquire low end horses ( rescues killpen sales freebies upgrades) and it turns out that safe saddle horse isn't even really broke, or there are chronic injuries or a bad bucking habit they aren't evident until the horse is plumped up a bit.

        I notice that none of these posters have ever gone and bought a horse direct at auction.

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        • #24
          There is a decent auction here in MT - the BLS Horse Sale. It is held monthly and each month caters to a different discipline so to speak. For example - the Outfitters, guides, and trail horse sale is in March, Rope horses in April, All around Ranch horses in May...etc. I would be wary of the "loose horse" sale part but we, and many people we know, have found decent horses in the consigned sale part.

          Our two mares from the "outfitters" sale have exceeded our expectations. I was able to contact previous owner of one mare - she was a rancher's wife's pleasure horse. Wife had back & neck surgery and was advised not to handle horses. Mare was tried as a ranch horse for a bit but wasn't cowy enough to earn her keep so husband made wife sell. Wife cried for days after sale convinced she went to a kill buyer & was overjoyed to learn she went to a nearby home with a "young gal." This mare has been amazing. Well broke and extremely gentle.

          Second mare was a former kid's 4H horse. Kid outgrew pony and so she went to the sale. You can leave mare out in the field for half a year, pull her in, tack up, and go on a quiet ride. No spook, no tricks. Loves attention and easy to work with.

          Both mares came with their registration papers.

          It probably pays to "know your auction". I would think twice about a horse pulled from New Holland but not from BLS.

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          • #25
            Originally posted by Lokinator View Post
            There is a decent auction here in MT - the BLS Horse Sale. It is held monthly and each month caters to a different discipline so to speak. For example - the Outfitters, guides, and trail horse sale is in March, Rope horses in April, All around Ranch horses in May...etc. I would be wary of the "loose horse" sale part but we, and many people we know, have found decent horses in the consigned sale part.

            Our two mares from the "outfitters" sale have exceeded our expectations. I was able to contact previous owner of one mare - she was a rancher's wife's pleasure horse. Wife had back & neck surgery and was advised not to handle horses. Mare was tried as a ranch horse for a bit but wasn't cowy enough to earn her keep so husband made wife sell. Wife cried for days after sale convinced she went to a kill buyer & was overjoyed to learn she went to a nearby home with a "young gal." This mare has been amazing. Well broke and extremely gentle.

            Second mare was a former kid's 4H horse. Kid outgrew pony and so she went to the sale. You can leave mare out in the field for half a year, pull her in, tack up, and go on a quiet ride. No spook, no tricks. Loves attention and easy to work with.

            Both mares came with their registration papers.

            It probably pays to "know your auction". I would think twice about a horse pulled from New Holland but not from BLS.
            Yes, these would be auctions that function as they used to and were meant to. More like a "horse sale." A centralized way of managing horse sales where distances are big, people have busy lives, and internet service can be spotty. There are legit horse
            ​​​​sales for TB yearlings and young warmbloods too.

            The OP though said the horse was "pulled from a kill pen" which is more the New Holland scenario.


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            • #26
              Buying a horse from auction does not equal "rescue". It's just "buying a horse". As said in the above post, that's a horse sale. Like the old-fashioned horse fairs, where people brought horses together for the purpose of changing what they have for what they really need.

              "Pulled from a kill pen" in this day & age is probably buying from a business that markets the horse as a "rescue", but in fact the horse is bought from a for-profit business. If you don't buy it, some other well-meaning owner will buy it. It is not going to slaughter because it has a higher sales value than meat price.

              True slaughter-bound horses are not usually offered for sale to any buyer that comes along, because that delays the shipper's trip to pick up a check from the slaughter house worth from $13k-$15k, depending on circumstances, of course. The shippers want to complete the load and go, not fiddle around with "how well does he move" and "will you hold him while I bring the money" for a few hundred bucks and a delay while they find another horse to replace that one.

              Getting a horse "from rescue" *should* mean only getting a horse from a reputable rescue 501(c)3 organization.

              However, these days people like the word "rescue", so they tack it on to any horse they buy that doesn't come from a friend or trainer. But it wasn't necessarily truly "rescued" from a life of terror, starvation and/or slaughter.

              When someone buys a horse, where does the money go? Into the pocket of an individual for their own personal spending? Or to a true rescue organization who will put it toward other horses in need?

              And if they didn't buy the horse, is the horse really going to slaughter or staying in an abusive situation, or just to another reasonably responsible horse owner?

              Just saying.

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              • #27
                THank you, O and O- that was more or less what I was trying to convey but did not state as well!

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                • #28
                  Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

                  I notice that none of these posters have ever gone and bought a horse direct at auction.
                  I have, but that was not the question asked. It asked about adopting from a rescue, and I told the successful story of two unbroken ponies I got that way. I have also purchased three unbroken horses directly from an auction. They were all between 6 months - 18 months old, so not yet messed up by anyone. I had them all gelded, trained them, sold two and kept one (they seemed to be a QH pony, Arab/QH, and clydesdale)

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                  • #29
                    I adopted (sorry, sticklers, that's the standard term) a cute and clever mini from my local rescue, and ended up volunteering there on a pretty regular basis.

                    I do see some perfectly nice horses going through the facility - off the track, seized by the state, owner died, whatever - but those tend to get adopted out fairly quickly, especially in the spring. Like most others, the rescue has a return clause, so animals with chronic health or behavioral issues pretty much end up residents for life. I'd definitely check into that angle carefully if I was shopping seriously.

                    I also helped a friend choose a horse from a low-end auction frequented by kill buyers, and that worked out fine too. She wasn't looking for anything fancy, though, which makes success a lot more likely.

                    You also have to know what you're doing, and be prepared for a few quirks. I very much agree with the poster who said that many of these animals are traumatized by their experiences to one degree or another. I think that's true even with the best tempered animals in the world.

                    Of course that doesn't mean you have to go all fluffy and sentimental about them because they're "rescues" - you just can't expect perfection right out of the box.

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                    • #30
                      Originally posted by Mango20 View Post

                      I have, but that was not the question asked. It asked about adopting from a rescue, and I told the successful story of two unbroken ponies I got that way. I have also purchased three unbroken horses directly from an auction. They were all between 6 months - 18 months old, so not yet messed up by anyone. I had them all gelded, trained them, sold two and kept one (they seemed to be a QH pony, Arab/QH, and clydesdale)
                      Oh I didn't mean no one on COTH or this thread! I meant out of the people who write in with disaster stories of horses said to be broke that don't know what to do under saddle, have ingrained bad behaviour, or chronic health issues, none of them seemed to buy at auction, but more likely through a "kill pen rescue."

                      Folks that buy unbroke horses knowing they have the skills to needed to make them useful citizens don't tend to turn up here as first time posters saying "I adopted a lovely horse from the kill pen last month and now I am wondering why she is bucking me off every ride / can't steer/ is limping/ charges me with her ears pinned back at feeding time. I love her and she has a forever home with me but I am afraid she is going to seriously injure me. I don't believe in punishing horses and I have never hit her or shouted at her. I am hurt and upset that she doesn't love me anymore."

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                      • #31
                        Rescues-Hah! I adopted a mini donk jenny and a hinny mule from the same rescue; had to promise my right leg and left lung to get them. Per the contract, I didn't get permanent ownership of them for a full year (that's fine), animals have to go back to the rescue if I don't want them, can't take care of them EVEN though I have permanent legal ownership via brand inspections in my name. After a recent near death experience hauling a trailer load of hay in 70 mph wind, I emailed the rescue I got my kids from, and asked if I suddenly, out of the blue, croaked, said rescue would come pick them up and take them back to rehome them. Answer? "Of course we would", and then I got a long list of contingencies plus a recommendation to have several other rescues lined up "just in case". So much for adoption contracts--I consider mine null and void after this--not the answer I was figuring on.

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                        • #32
                          Originally posted by DinkyDonk View Post
                          .... After a recent near death experience hauling a trailer load of hay in 70 mph wind, I emailed the rescue I got my kids from, and asked if I suddenly, out of the blue, croaked, said rescue would come pick them up and take them back to rehome them. Answer? "Of course we would", and then I got a long list of contingencies plus a recommendation to have several other rescues lined up "just in case". So much for adoption contracts--I consider mine null and void after this--not the answer I was figuring on.
                          I'm just curious what answer you expected?

                          Sounds like a responsible, truthful, far-sighted answer from the rescue. No rescue can truthfully promise that it will be operating forever. There is no knowing how long it will be before an adopter is unable to take care of their animals. If you shuffle off this mortal coil in the near future (we hope not), the rescue can most likely take them. If you delay that event by a decade or two or three - or even by 5 years - the rescue may no longer exist, and your heirs will need specific instructions on how to find other safe landings.

                          One of the most dangerous times for horses is when an owner dies without instructions for their immediate welfare and their future. Heirs are often overwhelmed anyway, and more overwhelmed by the horses' care, and need to get the horses off their hands promptly. An auction or a dealer seems like a quicker, easier answer than trying to sell something themselves that they may know little about. And if the horses have value, there could even be a court order to sell them at auction so the heirs can split the proceeds (it being erroneously assumed that an auction will bring the best fair market value). So I don't know exactly what the rescue said, but sounds as if they were trying to be honest with you about whatever contingencies might exist.

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by OverandOnward View Post

                            I'm just curious what answer you expected?
                            I was thinking exactly the same thing.

                            This rescue gave a serious, realistic answer, while a rescue without any real interest in the horses' welfare could easily make a lot of empty promises just to shut the adopter up. And why not? An adopter in a pine box is in no position to follow it up!

                            But that's something I've noticed a lot in the last few years: people seem to be oddly demanding and feel very entitled when it comes to (genuine) rescues. Maybe the phony "rescues" are behind this trend? I don't know, but it's very off-putting if you have any insight at all into how hard these people work.



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                            • #34
                              I've had a couple of experiences with horse rescues, both positive. In 2004, I adopted a pmu weanling through an out-of-state rescue group doing a national adoption placement effort when a pmu barn closed its doors. There were no issues with long-distance purchase and shipping him to me, and for 15 years, he continues to be the sweetest, easiest, healthiest, most problem free horse, I own.

                              A few years after that, I got a call from a lady I knew who worked with a local rescue in Utah. They grabbed a beautiful horse from a feedlot, only to discover it was cryptorchid, and could not keep it at their place. So I fostered it until Best Friends could neuter him. He was a great horse, well-trained, until females got too close. But after he was neutered, he settled down and became an awesome gelding, and was eventually adopted out to a lucky person.

                              Then there's the cheap 'too good to be true' ad on craigslist. Fell for that one with my last horse and I'm still paying for that poor decision 7 years later. I think I'd trust the local rescues to be honest about a horse than the private sale scammer doing whatever they can to dump a problem.

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                              • #35
                                Originally posted by Scribbler View Post
                                Absolutely. It does happen. But from the buyers perspective it pays to be really cautious and dubious. I can't count the number of threads we get here on COTH from people who acquire low end horses ( rescues killpen sales freebies upgrades) and it turns out that safe saddle horse isn't even really broke, or there are chronic injuries or a bad bucking habit they aren't evident until the horse is plumped up a bit.

                                I notice that none of these posters have ever gone and bought a horse direct at auction.
                                When I was in high school I worked at a rent a hack barn. The barn owner bought horses from New Holland pretty regularly. Mostly Arabians, one Percheron that he used to pull a wedding carriage and a couple of ponies. I think only one did he send back.

                                My Arabian/pinto cross I bought at a slighter higher than meat auction but still pretty darn cheap. He was a tough saddle fit but a blast to ride. I had to retire him after 11 years due to kissing spine but he is in his lower 20s. I trail rode him, farmer pack fox hunted him, dressage, unrecognized eventing. He wasn't an easy horse in large fast moving groups but he is Arab cross so not totally unexpected.

                                My old trainer bought a couple from New Holland for low level lesson horses, local show horses. I think only one really didn't work out and she traded him to a dealer. He wasn't a bad horse he just was big and strong and was too strong for the beginners and advanced beginners. He would just take advantage of them.

                                There can be plenty of reasons that a decent horse can be run through a sale cheap. Another poster mentioned some of them- owner/family member medical issues, divorce, job loss. Some people just do not like dealing with the public trying to sell them privately. We have all seen the threads here about tire kickers, unsuitable people showing up etc...

                                If they are boarding the horse sometimes it can be cheaper to sell the horse quickly for less than eat 2 months of board while you are trying to sell the horse.

                                In my area camp horses are run through New Holland and some other sales. Some of them can be pretty decent but they are flooding the local market over a couple of weeks time when summer camps end. Plus it is a time of year people are looking to sell not buy due to not riding much in the winter and more expensive to feed in the winter and more work to feed in the winter.

                                So yes I have personally bought a horse at auction and have know a few people that have had a lot of success buying at auction.
                                Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

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                                • #36
                                  Originally posted by Scribbler View Post

                                  Oh I didn't mean no one on COTH or this thread! I meant out of the people who write in with disaster stories of horses said to be broke that don't know what to do under saddle, have ingrained bad behaviour, or chronic health issues, none of them seemed to buy at auction, but more likely through a "kill pen rescue."

                                  Folks that buy unbroke horses knowing they have the skills to needed to make them useful citizens don't tend to turn up here as first time posters saying "I adopted a lovely horse from the kill pen last month and now I am wondering why she is bucking me off every ride / can't steer/ is limping/ charges me with her ears pinned back at feeding time. I love her and she has a forever home with me but I am afraid she is going to seriously injure me. I don't believe in punishing horses and I have never hit her or shouted at her. I am hurt and upset that she doesn't love me anymore."
                                  Oops- I saw this post after I had already replied to another one.

                                  Many times the common denominator is first time horse buyer. I think those buyers are at risk whether it is rescue, adopt or private sale. They don't know what they don't know. Frequently they buy based on a sob story or pretty face. They don't know the local players to avoid. There is currently a thread about Star. First time horse buyer working with a trainer and it still appears she got scammed buy both her trainer and the seller. No rescue or auction involved. First time very young buyer is even a greater risk. They still have stars in their eyes about life in general. They still believe in the magic of the Black Stallion type bonding and love at first sight. They frequently think they ride better than they do and can learn together.
                                  Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)

                                  Comment


                                  • #37
                                    Several years ago my trainer and I used to cruise auctions looking for stock to flip. We were mostly interested in Walking Horses as they were plentiful and reasonably priced. Still, we were "bottom fishing." No sense lying about it.

                                    We had a system. We'd look at horse brought in and decide if we wanted it. We were pretty picky as a lot of Walker stock around here was padded up at some time and those horses were routinely suffering from injury (from almost negligible to dead lame). If we saw something that had promise we would agree on the maximum we'd pay. Then watch and see how the bidding went. If we bid it was always below our ceiling. If it went above we quit. Period. One the best ways to lose a lot of money is to get "auction fever" and let the auctioneer chivy you into a bidding war with another bidder. This, by the way, was a regular and frequent event. That's how auctioneers make their money.

                                    One thing we quickly learned was to recognize were the "meat buyers." They tended to sit together in a small group up front. We seldom bid against them as they were buying the very bottom end but if they saw something nice they'd try and buy it for either their own account or a client who dealt in flipping, as we did. One way to learn real low end value is to watch them and see what they pay. Like us, they set ceilings and won't go above it. If we see them going above their normal ceilings it's because they have to fill a trailer and will spend a bit more as they make more if the trailer is full.

                                    In those days there were very few "rescues" that frequented auctions. You could tell the inexperienced buyers as they would bid up really poor quality horses, particularly if they were pretty. We watched a drop dead gorgeous buckskin Walker gelding lame in all four feet go to a "civilian" for $3500 one day. If you're not experienced in equine auction buying then don't go by yourself. Take a knowledgeable friend, even if you have to pay them. You'll save a lot of money.

                                    Now, if you want to REALLY "bottom fish" at auctions you get there an hour or two before the auction starts and look and see what's coming off the trailers. This being a "pin-hooker" and the Object of the Exercise is to buy something nice before it gets in the ring and gets bid up. Lots of people who sell at auctions do so because they need money NOW. If they are newbies they don't understand what's going on and it's easy to buy low. People who don't really need to sell but want to sell usually won't deal. But often the allure of a stack of Benjamins (this IS an all cash business) can win the day.

                                    This the bottom end of the equine business. With the contraction of the equine market generally auctions are much less prevalent than they used to be. The rule that we used still probably apply.

                                    G.

                                    Mangalarga Marchador: Uma Raa, Uma Paixo

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