Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Nolan Auction Report & Free Horse Roundup

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Thanks for being faithful readers. My family has a tradition at Thanksgiving, where we go around the table, and each one of us talks about what we're grateful for. The fact that I'm able to express my opinions freely, have a dialogue with fellow horse lovers, and even have the internet and horses in the first place, are all things I am extremely grateful for. Thanks for being part of that.

Now then, on to some horses who are not as lucky this holiday.

WARNING: Wall O' Text Ahead!

The Saturday before last, I attended the huge Tim Nolan auction near Clintonville, WI. It's probably the second largest regular horse auction in the state. I had a lovely blog post typed up for you,with TONS of pictures... and then my laptop died. Probably permanently, so there went my pics.

So, due to technical difficulties, here's a very much abridged, yet still mind-numbingly long, rundown of what went on at...

Tim Nolan Auction

-Over 200 head of horses went into the ring, probably close to 250

- I estimated about 1/5th were no-saled because the owners wanted more

- About 300 people attended, of course not everyone stayed from beginning to end

- Average price for a broke horse was $400, including registered horses

- Top price paid was $1,500 for a young, dead broke red dun gelding, the Amish guy riding him jumped over his ears, crawled between his front legs and under his belly, jumped up on his butt, etc while he stood stock still in the middle of the ring. Trotted and backed nice.

- Bottom prices were lots of $30 and $50 ponies, including some adorable Hackneys broke to drive, $90 - $110 each for a couple of older broke horses

- Bottom price for a really good quality broke horse was $50, paid for a '98 registered bay Arabian mare, youth-sized, great confo, had been shown and done speed events, hadn't been ridden in 2 years, was nervous but did okay in the ring.

- One of my personal favorites was a 4 year old unbroke AQHA mare, led okay, GORGEOUS buckskin, decent confo: went for $325

- Second saddest was probably the 23 year old sooty buckskin gelding. He was old, and a grade, but dead broke and super quiet, would have been a GREAT first horse for a little kid. Sold for $200. Bastard owner couldn't be bothered to put him to rest.

- Absolute saddest was a lanky, sorrel, ewe-necked ex-lesson horse, could jump, knew some dressage, broke absolutely to death, had been used at a vet tech college for student practice, sold for $225. Don't know how old he was, but it was absolutely heartbreaking that no one he'd served in his life could be bothered to give him a home. I guess it was just because he wasn't very "pretty."

Best T-shirt seen at the auction:

- Crowd favorites were the mini donkeys that fetched up to $150, and 2 weanling foals, one a registered paint stud colt that went for $175, the other a QH filly selling on application, she went for $75.

- No recent injuries or starvation cases that I could see

- All horses provided with water and okay hay

- Scariest and most adorable sight was the tiny Amish boys, no more than 5 or 6 years old, riding full-sized horses around the property and in the auction ring.

-Tack and junk was pretty damn cheap; $20 for folding aluminum saddle stands, $5 for leadropes if you bought two, pony saddles for $75-$120, western saddles for $60 to $300 depending on condition-- a couple of nice used ones went for $80 and $120 respectively.

- I bought two leadropes and a huge purple bucket for Annie's huge pink head, but no critters. Not sure whether I was disappointed in myself or relieved I had avoided temptation.

*whew* That's all on the auction. Are you sick and tired yet?

But wait, there's more! It's time to give you a quick...

 Craigslist Free Horse Roundup

Free to a good home: Paint gelding near Madison. Rescue case.

A huge THANK-YOU to reader Carol for rescuing this poor guy and finding him a great home! SUPER kudos!!

Insane lady wants $120 to re-home her 5 year old, non-neutered dogs (they also need shots).
Black and yellow labs, she says they're housebroken but mostly outside dogs (read: they will have fleas and chew your house up). "You may feel free to tyranny or call me at 608-450-0330" Endeavor, WI. Ad here.

Actual ad text: "They may be dirty, but the bows make it all better!" *facepalm* It would by funny/cute if Broken Foot Ranch weren't asking $500 for the paint filly and $750 for the black/grey. Jesus people, try reading my auction report: registered horses are going for peanuts, yet you still feel you can market these guys like this and get big bucks out of them?!

Three free horses here: an 8, 10 and 22 year old mares. None of 'em broke.

Free yearling QH pony here-- not gelded or halter broke. Ugh. Lafayette County.

CUTE 2 year old paint pony, free to good home. Nice medium size, hard to find. Leads, loads. Ad here. Picture below.

Free 8 year old paint gelding near Madison. Not broke. Click here.

Free white molly mini mule, not easily caught but somewhat touchable. 8 years old, near Portage.
Ad here. 608 438 9361

Donkeys!! OMG, free donkeys wantwantwant. They're only about an hour from my farm, too. Pair of standard donkeys, young, one male and one female (doesn't say if the guy is gelded). Apparently they need hoof trims. Ad here.

Rescue closing
At least seven horses need new homes as a Deerfield, WI horse sanctuary closes its doors. All but two are unbroke or too old to ride, but there are some quality horses there. They're all free to a good home, but references are required. Full descriptions here. I will try to find out more about this soon. In particular, I would like to know why a supossed sanctuary is dumping 4+ 20+ year old horses on Craigslist instead of euthanizing them. Hmmm...

$20 mare
She's an adorable, 16 year old fat little QH/Mustang cross, broke to ride but needs experience. Sounds like she's had some founder trouble in the past (gee, no kidding, just look at her!). Doesn't stand well for messing with her hooves, but for $20, geesh, this would be a nice kid's horse with a little work. Near Randolph, WI-- ad here.

Free APHA mare, I think this girl has been on Craigslist for a while, maybe something is wrong with her... ad just says she's healthy and a futurity winner.


  1. The first free horse you showed was a starved horse I took in about a month or so ago.
    I got sucked into a free horse of the same CL. I was ready to walk away from this horse as I was sure there was something like cancer or extreme old age.
    Here is the pic from his ad that I saved from his former "owner".. she is a total douche

    When I got there, I knew I could NOT leave him.
    These pics are from when I got him to my friend's farm.

    Now I think my friend was more than a little confused. The plan was for me to keep him there, and integrate him into her small herd of horses.
    Two attempts were made, neither went well.
    And then her husband said he didn't want any outside animals at their farm anymore. Well I talked to friends, co-workers, friends of friends.. all to no avail and had about a week to find him a new home.
    If I didn't I would have called the humane society or a rescue down by whitewater.
    Luckily a neighbor around the corner from me thought he would be a good horse for her SIL and niece.
    He went to his new home on Weds.
    The pic of him from his ad were from Mon. His former owner didn't get his teeth floated, and then let him starve for almost 2 yrs.
    He went from skeletal to only a hundred or so pounds underweight in about a month.
    I put a lot of time and money into him, but was very glad he went to a great home.
    He is in QT at their place and will be slowly introduced to her herd.


    1. WOW Carol, you are so awesome!! Poor boy. Care to share the name of his previous owner, so we can publicly shame her? Great job on this rescue. Too bad you couldn't keep him, but it doesn't always work out that way-- the main part is he's healthy and is in a better place. You ROCK.

  2. What about this poor free pony:
    Elf shoes and maybe founder by the way he's standing and the face he's making? Wish I was out of college so I could help him.

    1. Additionally, not free, but HOLY PASTERNS:
      He makes my eyes hurt. And he's a stallion.

  3. Thousands of horses are auctioned every year including performance horses. Poor horses, they don’t know what people do to them. They could be in good hands or in killer hands.

  4. Good Horses are worth good money- if you want a horse that guaranteed you don't buy it at an auction and unfortunately buyers got the memo, sellers did not. Irresponsible people that can't seem to halter break, geld, feed, get them in training or correctly market or place a horse in a good home (definitely should not breed more!) and these are the reason we have the crappy $25-$400 run of prices at these sales.