How the Cards Fell
Interesting day at the sale. I've said that the order that the horses come through the ring is akin to "how the cards fall." Waiting for a particular horse can mean having to let one go that comes through the ring at the beginning. This is a tough call because should the horse that is being waited on sell for more $ than was budgeted or a private buyer step in both horses are lost. Such was the case today. Two very handsome geldings had taken the top spots on my list. A paint and a buckskin. Third place was a dark QH mare. The geldings were going to be pricey because of their size and so I held back when the mare went through as much as I liked her. (Remember, everyone wants color and geldings so I have to pull what I can place.) The first gelding came in and the price climbed past meat price and away he went. Second gelding went the same way. Neither went for meat. (I think I was being spied on while I was trying them but that's another story...) So now the cards have fallen. All three horses have had their fate decided. In waiting for the geldings I missed the mare.
As many of you know I have negotiated after the sale purchases from the kill buyers. It is a benefit of being professional and having a "working relationship" with them even though I don't support their work. Since both of the geldings went through (and didn't go for meat) I decided to speak to the KB about the dark mare. Here is where the magic happened. On my way down to the KB I paused to speak to someone else (trying to time my request between horses so I was not interrupting his buying.) With a very close view of the ring, a sad looking palomino came in. Where was that horse? We hadn't seen it before the sale, must have been a late arrival. I stopped talking and looked the horse over. Mare, darn it. No obvious injuries or lameness, hmm. Oh, she looks so down trodden and defeated. Mane and tail knotted, not signs of a handled horse. Geez she's not going for much. I raised my card...and had the last bid. Continued on to the KB and negotiated for the dark mare. (He wanted $100 over what she brought in the ring.) So done deal on the dark mare and now a palomino mare was mine too! I caught up with Jesse and we went to wrangle our purchases. Him: "Just the dark mare right?" Me: "Um, well, no... I bought another one in the ring." This is a 'no no.' It is impossible to see and judge everything from the brief 10 seconds in the ring. There could be vision problems, soundness issues and the disposition of the horse is impossible to determine accurately from only seeing them in the ring. Jesse: "You did what??" Me: "I know. Let's go see what she is." We caught her and looked at her teeth. 9 - good. Eyes and legs okay. And the best part???? Gentle, quiet. Willing to be led by only her matted mane. Jesse: "Well if you were just going to throw a hail Mary and pick one you did good. What made you do that?" I don't know is the honest answer. Something about her called out to me. So two mares that were definitely headed for meat (remember the dark mare had already sold to the KB) had a very different outcome. Someone was in the right place at the right time for them...glad it was me!