I’ve been somewhat absent from my blog for several weeks. I’ve been writing, but not publishing much on here. Life has just gotten so busy that I haven’t had time to sit down and share anything.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to a horse sale in Billings. I had circled quite a few horses I wanted to look at, so my folks and I took our catalogs and went to the Friday preview. By the end of that day, we had eliminated about half of the horses on our lists. My mom and I went back to the sale the next day.
Cyris called me before we left and told me not to bring a trailer. I laughed and told him I wouldn’t be bringing any horses home, so I had already decided against a trailer. He clarified his statement. A co-worker and friend, J2, was taking some colts to the sale for their boss. He had a trailer available if I bought anything.
My main goal for the sale was to gauge where horse prices were hovering. It has been a couple of years since I attended a sale. I’m looking for breakaway and tie down prospects: horses that Cyris and Regan could take for the summer and try to finish. Cy and I made a business deal that I bought any horses in that category and he put in the time, we’d split the profits from any sales.
The morning of the sale, we arrived during the loose horse portion, and the parking lot was already brimming. We had to park a the very back of the lot and snagged two vacant chairs in the auction. We didn’t dare leave our chairs, so we watched the loose horses sell.
When the actual sale began, I settled into my seat, jotting down selling prices, and preparing myself for a long day. The first few horses I was somewhat interested in went for a bit more than I was willing to pay, so I watched them sell to someone else.
Then two year old filly came in the ring. She came off a ranch in Havre, and I had spoken to her rider just before the sale. She was quiet, calm, and very kind looking. The bids started and I figured she was gone. Then everyone stopped bidding. I threw up my hand, bid once, and was suddenly the owner of a young horse.
Three horses later, a five year old mare came through the ring. I hadn’t really seen anyone ride her, but the group of horses she was in was being trained by a Hutterite man from Nebraska. He put a nice handle on all the horses he rode in the sale. She had good breeding, so I watched the bidding start on her. Same thing. Bidding stopped; I made a bid; and I got her.
I felt pretty good about picking those two up. You see, lot of people don’t like mares, because when they come in, they can be cantankerous to get along with. But some of my best horses have been mares. In fact, Peppy, the mare that Garris rode all through junior high, was one of the best horses – male or female – that we ever had.
And I figured if these two didn’t work out for our needs, we could sell them. Besides, the horse I really wanted was going to go high.
After a couple more hours, that gelding finally came through the sale. He was a four year old, had great breeding, and looked a lot like our Peppy, except he was leaner. He had, supposedly, two years of cutting training, and seemed like he had a good head on him.
Bidding started, and the price jumped quickly. I figured he was out of my reach. Then, just like with the other two, people stopped bidding. I threw up my hand, made three bids, and I actually got the horse. I was waiting for the rider to ‘no-sale’ the horse, but he didn’t.
Now, I felt kind of silly at that point, for picking up three horses when I hadn’t intended to bring home even one. But as I looked back through the pedigrees, and mentally calculated what those horses SHOULD have sold for, I relaxed and knew I had made some decent purchases.
Then I had to tell J2 that I had three horses to get home. He was amused about it. Apparently, Cyris had told him ahead of time that I wouldn’t got to a sale and come home empty handed. I guess my son knows me better than I do! J2 had a big stock trailer and plenty of room. They were going home the next day, while my mom and I were leaving right away. I got some hay to my new horses, made sure the gates were secure, and my mom and I left.
Since my dad didn’t make it to the sale, he was anxious to know how it went. He was surprised, but pleased, about the three I bought. And last weekend, my folks, Cyris, and Regan, all came to my place to see the new additions, and to ride. We had a fun day, complete with a birthday celebration for Cyris.
Cy and Regan each rode both mares. The gelding, Cougar, stepped on a nail on Thursday, so he was wearing a fashionable rubber boot and couldn’t be ridden. But the kids fell in love with the two year old, Remy. She acted, and moved, like an older horse. She’s already neck reining. She moves out well. She keeps her head at a good level. She’s going to make a dandy horse; we’ll just have to see what direction seems like a good fit for her.
Gin, the five year old, was a bit more high maintenance. She needs some good, long days with Cyris at the ranch. She may not work for what we need, but with some time and patience, we’ll figure out where she needs to be.
In all, I am happy with the outcome. Although, I won’t be attending any more horse sales for quite a while! As it is, I’m playing musical horses, trying to put everybody in pens where they won’t fight over the fence. I’ll just enjoy these three new adoptees and see if I get to keep any of them, or if my kids end up stealing them away. Guess I’ll just be the crazy horse lady that keeps adding to the herd.