Thursday, March 19, 2009

A very strange week indeed....

By this Saturday I'll be able to check off two of my equine goals for the year. On Monday, I accompanied the Director of the Equihab Foundation to the New Holland horse auction in Pennsylvania. It was one of those want to/don't want to trips. New Holland is well know in these parts as a low-end auction where many of the horses are purchased for resale to slaughter houses in Canada and Mexico. It was very much as I expected it would be- dirty, ugly, and sad. I felt like I'd gone back 50 or 60 years in time. The men looked liked like they'd stepped out of a casting audition for the Grapes of Wrath. I'd estimate about 100 or so horses went through the auction and the prices they fetched, when they sold at all, were a firm indicator the horse market has tanked. I didn't keep count, but I'd estimate the average price wasn't much over $500 for broke, seemingly sound, rideable horses. I saw a couple of Paint geldings that made my heart sink, if only...if only I was rich and could have taken them home. That said, I learned one lesson that day, to buy at an auction like New Holland you need to be an astute, experienced judge of equines and be a confirmed gambler at heart. Of which I am neither.

Tomorrow, I go on a much more pleasant excursion, riding along with my barn owner to check out a trail horse she is interested in. My BO is an exceptional rider, and has a drop dead gorgeous Arabian that she shows. But for the trails of Fair Hill she'd like something more like my boys- calm, steady guys. The trip is meaningful to me because the barn we are going to visit is the same one Dallas was purchased from by his previous owner. I don't know anything about his history so I'm hope to learn more about his past tomorrow. I'll let you know in my next blog what I find out.

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