Wednesday, March 7, 2012

"I have never known a day without Beauty" (video)

Yesterday, Donna, Kevin and I headed to Amish Country for the semi-annual Mount Hope Carriage and Tack Sale. (this is not the infamous Horse Slaughter Auctions at Sugar Creek, although it is in the same county) It is all sold at auction, and the items auctioned off include tack, horses, carriages, farm implements and basically any horse related item. This is the place to pick up everything from a Horseshoe Wind chime, like Donna did, or a saddle, like I did. (I actually bought two, and will post pics as soon as I get them cleaned up). Any horse related item, no matter how slight, will be sold. If it has a picture of a horse on it, it is a horse related item.
Mount Hope is located in the heart of Amish country, and so the sight of buggies and horses is quite common here. I wandered over to the where the horses were tied up, and took some pictures.

This line of horses stood quite patiently waiting. I walked closer to take more pics, but did not go close enough to touch any of them. Not knowing how they would react I did not want to cause any stress. They are all tied up, with most still harnessed to a buggy.

Same line of horses closer up. None turned their heads to see me, guess those blinders work quite well.
This horse neighed when I came closer, and walked forward until the bar hit his chest. It was a rather cold and blustery day, so I was glad to see that he had a sheet on. They all looked like they had sweated from bringing the buggies in, so a sheet would be nice for proper cool down.

This Little fella looked so tired and exhausted. All bow legged and just adorable. He was by far the smallest horse attached to a buggy, and was soaked in sweat.
This two were quite animated, and were working hard at trying to reach each other. The black one was working on maneuvering the buggy sideways in order to reach and potentially sniff muzzles.

Most of the horses had sheets on, and looked quite well taken care of. Their feet looked good, and although I'm sure the life of a buggy horse is tough, none looked to be mistreated. I can't help but feel bad for them though.
The auctions are held in two side by side buildings and outdoors. It was cold (mid 40's), and windy. The wind was really chilly, and although dressed for it, I was a bit cold at times. Inside the large warehouse was three or four auctions at the same time. They have four enormous flat bed trailers filled to the brim with all kinds of items, and things are auctioned as they get to it. No rhyme or reason, just wait until you see something you want to bid on. You are of course welcome to walk and look at the items on the trailers. I picked up things I wanted and placed them closer to the auctioneer so that my wait would be shorter. That may or may not be frowned upon, but no one glared at me. Here is a video of the Saddle auction: (Turn the sound up loud to get the full effect. )
I am sure you may know how auctions work, but here is a rundown: Before the Auction starts you must go get a Bidder number, and once you win a bid they will write down the price and bidder number. At the end of the day, or when you are done, you go check out. They will ask you what your last bid was for, and make sure they have all your items listed for you to pay for.
After a while we decided to go inside the (somewhat) heated building to sit down for a while. Standing on concrete for a few hours, being jostled about by the crowd, can really tire you out. Here is a video from the Draft Harness Auction going on inside:

The crowd inside was mostly farmers, a lot of Amish and Mennonite men, and some Draft Horse pullers. It was nice to get warmed up, and get off our feet for a while. The Draft Harnesses were enormous, and the teen aged boys in the video are modeling one each. They were sold in sets of two, and the prices ranged from $125  to over $600.
Yesterday was the Carriage and Tack Sale. I took some photos of carriages that caught my eye.

Cinderellas pumpkin
Prairie wagon

Fancy old carriage

Funeral Carriage

On March 7th and 8th they are holding the Draft Horse sales. The Draft horses, and the other horses that will be auctioned off on March 10th are all housed in temporary stalls in attached buildings.
We walked around and looked at all of them, my heart breaking with each step. Most of the horses were in good shape, a few were skinny, but none emaciated. I chose not take pictures, mostly to not to haunt myself that way.

In one aisle I saw a little Mennonite boy(assumed so from his Attire),and we struck up a conversation. He was eight years old, and was removing the sheet from what looked to be a Paint/Saddlebred pony mare. She was pinning her ears, and I asked if she was agitated. The boy explained that she didn't really like to me "messed with," but assured me that she was a great horse. She could pull a buggy, and you could ride her too. Her name was Beauty, and she was going to be auctioned off he said, getting a bit emotional. His eyes were misty when I asked him if he would miss her, and he stated "I have never known a day without Beauty."

What can I say? My heart wept for him. Trying to be a BIG boy swallowing his tears the best he could. I agree with him. Since I found Pippi, I have never known a day without beauty either.
His father came over, and I told him what the boy had said; "I don't know about you, but I think this is how its supposed to be; he has never known a day without beauty." The man reached out to his son, and I walked away.

When I came down the next aisle a few minutes later, now on the other side of the stall, I noticed that the mare had her jacket back on. The boy was standing at her head, stroking her neck and talking to her. I like to think that he was able to keep her, but did not ask as I knew I would cry along with him is the answer was otherwise.

We went back to get ready for the saddle auction, that started at noon. I was hoping to pick up an English saddle, if the price was right. Here is the pile of saddles, all types thrown together.

I started digging through the pile, and had set my hopes on a few only to lose track of them as soon as the auction started. The auctioneer stood in front of saddles displayed for sale, as you can see in the first video, and I ended up blindly (stupidly?) bidding on two saddles sight unseen. I only paid $10 a piece, so no harm no foul I suppose.

I bought two saddles (really old and really used), two great brushes, a gold colored halter, and black polo wraps, for around $50. All in all I felt that I made some good deals. This was my second time at the auction. Miranda was unable to go due to college classes, but I really hope she can come next time. Although with her it is sure to be a more expensive venture.

Draft Horse harness

Large racks of harnesses

The Salesman

1 comment:

  1. Um heaven!! I wish I lived in Amish country. I would kill for some of that harness instead of trying to make it myself. Wow! Glad you had fun and got some stuff for a good deal. :)


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