Friday, June 29, 2007

Horse Sales

Just got home from the horse sale, picked up a couple of geldings that ought to do a fine job with the cows.

Once the second one was bought, we left. I was afraid I'd come home with three instead of the two max I'd given myself before I ever went.

*Stand Up*

My name is Farmgirl, and I'm addicted to horses.

There, I said it. Its an expensive addiction, and just like any other, once you break down and feed it once, its hard to stop. Especially when you've got two, and are thinking of that four-horse trailer half empty.

Anyway, we came home with one little grade gelding, and one bigger AQHA registered gelding. The registered boy is good bloodlines, lines we like, and watching him during his warm up out in the pens before the sale, well, it was a thing of beauty. Course, once he got in the ring, he got kind of panicky, but he'd never been to town before, so thats understandable.

Besides... it kept the price down for us.

The little grade gelding is a short little sucker, but stocky, well built, and real personable. Both of em have just crackerjack personalities, couldn't ask for better.

We got out of the horse sale for under a thousand dollars. Yeah. I think today, the way I dressed, I looked younger... so I had an advantage. None of them tough old leathery ranchers wanted to take the horse away from the cute young lady who was so excited about it.

Horse sales are exciting. There's a lot of sadness to them, when the old, broken down, or lamed up ponies come gimping through the ring, and sometimes I want to find the previous owners and beat them senseless, because the problems that cause the horse to go for slaughter would have been preventable if they'd just given it a little effort.

But there's a lot of excitement to it, too......

The gate opens, and in trots a nice little sorrel, well conformed, brushed, and with an attitude that says "I'm too good for all of you!"

The auctioneer's assistant reads off an impressive pedigree, and then the excitement starts.

The ring men work the horse in a circle, showing off his movement, and he keeps his head up, eyes on the crowd, as the auctioneer rattles off numbers and nonsense almost faster than you can hear it.

The colt stops, center ring, as if he's posing, and stares out at the crowd with proud eyes. Not wild, he doesn't mind people, but he knows all that attention and noise is for him, and he plays to it.

The bidding is fierce, the ring men begin to call out as they see bids... its a three way... no, four way battle. Everyone is determined to take this pretty boy home.

Down front, actually front row center, is a thin young woman, in a tank top, and faded jeans. She's sitting on her hands, and she has an intense, yet wistful look on her face. She knows she can't take this one home... he's just turned two, and he's not broke to ride, and she just can't afford it.

She has eyes only for the horse, and hears nothing of the auctioneer's babble until he prances out of the ring, and she can breathe again.

She takes her hands out from under her, and eyes the welts that the slatted seat has left.

Ah, well. They'll get worse before its over.


Dixie_Amazon said...

Thank for bringing back wonderful memories of going to stockyard with my dad. We got a charming if less than handsome bay Tennessee Walking Horse that had a smooth as silk ride for $250. That was the only purchase we made, but we went other times just for fun.

Anonymous said...

I'm a guy and I've been in that same position of having to sit on my hands. I've been to a bunch of horse sales at this one barn in western North Carolina, but never bought a horse through a sale. I can remember almost gutwrenching emotions seeing so many starve-outs. I remember one sale in east Tennessee where a seller bounced a nice horse of the wall in anger. I'd have liked to bounced him off that same wall. I can also remember seeing a good many I'd have brought home if money had allowed.

Yeah, I'm a horse addict too.


Kate said...

I'm the same way with dogs. I'm sure if I had a country place, I'd have fallen for horses by now, too. The abused ones just break my heart - when I set myself watch the animal cops shows on Animal Planet, I'm filled with rage through most of it because I just cannot believe the abuse that humans have the nerve to put a fellow creature through. Grrr.

Pawpaw said...

Best horse I ever owned was a nasty little grade sorrel. He had been a cattle pony in his earlier years. He could turn on a dime and give you change. More than once he left me hanging in the air where he and the saddle had been just nanoseconds earlier.

He had every bad habit a horse could have, but he never lost a cow, and he would carry you to hell and back if you could stay in the saddle. His name was Fred.

I miss Fred, sometimes.