Horses Rescued From Auction

Horse auctions are where people conduct the commercial trade in equines.  People sell or consign horses at auction for various reasons.  For some, the auction is an excellent place for buyer and seller to meet and arrive at fair market value for a horse.  Some auctions sell quality horses and can be a good outlet for owners to relieve themselves of the financial burden of an unwanted horse.  Unfortunately, some auctions may also be the last stop for horses before shipping to slaughter.

The extreme downside to the horse auction is that you will see animals who are injured, need to be trained and have been neglected.  You will see animals who are permanently lame or have neurological issues and are brought back time and time again when the new owner realizes they cannot fix the issue.  You will see horses in pain while the owner is trying to make money, horses that are thrown away because they will not have a career in racing and horses that are used for summer camp and whose owners do not want to take care of them during the winter.  The harsh reality of our current American horse population is there are far too many horses and few too many homes for them.

Those equines that are not purchased by individuals or saved by rescue groups, ultimately find themselves in the kill or “feedlot” pen where kill buyers purchase these horses for pennies on the pound.  Luckily, animal rescues, like Last Chance Ranch, save horses lives when they can.

These horses found a second chance at life after being rescued from a horse auction.  Sometimes we can rescue horses that are turned away from the sale because they are too skinny or too injured to run through.   Vera and Glacier are two of those horses.





Vera- $100- 1st photo, black Percheron mare

Glacier- $150- 2nd photo, chestnut Belgian gelding

Donkeys (Theodore and Earl)- $200 Each

Violet- $185- black mare

These are just a few of the hundreds of equines Last Chance Ranch (LCR) has rescued from auction over the past 20 years. We frequent local auctions when we have the funds and space available.  We currently have an auction horse fund, that individuals can donate to.  These funds are used to directly purchase horses and provide them with any emergency care required while they are in quarantine.

Horses obtained from an auction need to be in quarantine from other animals because many of them are sick, have been exposed to sick horses, have sustained injuries, have chronic issues that have not been identified and if they are purchased without prior vaccination records, the safest approach is to assume that the horse has no prior vaccination history. We are often rescuing horses that require immediate veterinary care (lameness issues, founder, masses, eye issues, neurological disorders, illness and more). Unfortunately, some of the horses we rescue come to LCR to have a few days of love and attention before we must make the difficult decision to let them go, since we do save the more extreme cases at the sale.

We typically spend $500-$1000 to save full sized equines from auction.  For miniature horses and ponies, we spend less than $350. These prices are based on the current price buyers can purchase equines for slaughter/meat prices. We try to coordinate with other rescues at the auction so that we do not bid against each other to rescue as many as we can!

The first step in rehabilitating a rescued horse, especially in a malnourished or debilitated condition, is to work with a veterinarian and feed consultant to assess the overall health.  A slow steady approach is taken when introducing feed.  Too much, too soon, can cause “Refeeding Syndrome” and can overwhelm the digestive and metabolic system and can end up killing the horse.  The importance of dental care, high grade forage, and quality grain feeds is extremely important in the recovery process.  The costs of recovering a starved horse are very high including feeding, shelter, and medication but if successful, rehabilitating a neglected horse can be a very rewarding experience.

As always, our mission is to provide a safe and secure refuge for abused, unwanted or neglected animals.  There are so many ways to help us save animals.  Please click here to see how you can help!

Posted:  July 12, 2021, by Jill Roggio

Summer Camp Fun at Last Chance Ranch!

Many of us fondly reflect on summer camp and as adults, it may have even been a formative part of our lives!  It is a place that children can not only have fun but learn about themselves, other people, and the world around them.  Last Chance Ranch offers a unique summer camp experience for 9 weeks this summer!  These weeks are divided up between horse camp and rescue camp.

For horse camp, it is just like the name says, it is all about horses!  The weeks are split up this year based on age and riding ability. The beginners have two weeks separate from the intermediate riders (those who can walk/trot independently).  Each day the campers get a 45 minute to an hour-long group lesson.  Each day at camp is a different theme for the riding portion! For example, one of the days will be a games day, so the kids can play games on horseback! Some of the fun games include egg and spoon, dollar bareback, red light – green light, barrel racing and more!


The final day (which is Friday), is a horse show day. This is where we invite the family members of the campers to come and watch the kids demonstrate the skills they have been working on all week. Each kid makes their own course and can decorate their horse for the show.  When not on the horses, the kids get to do other activities that are geared towards equines. They learn that it is not all about riding and horses are a lot to care for! The care they get to participate in includes mucking out stalls and dry lot areas, scrubbing water buckets/troughs, feeding hay and grain, etc. The campers also get the opportunity to watch the farrier (hoof trimming/shoeing), dentist and veterinarian, as all of those are involved in the care of horses. But it is not all hard work during camp! The campers do other fun activities such as scavenger hunts, water games (especially on those 100-degree days), giving the horses baths, crafts and more!

For rescue camp, every day involves a different animal. The kids get to learn about dogs/cats, small animals (such as rabbits, hamsters, ferrets, etc.), but also have a day or two to learn about horses as well. For the horse day(s), the kids get a basic introduction into horses and a group riding lesson. They will all learn how to halter/lead a horse, how to catch one in the field, groom and bathe a horse along with how to tack up before riding.  The benefits of summer camp and learning about animals are endless and can influence children for a lifetime.  Is your child excited to experience the joy of summer camp with horses or animals?

To sign up your child for camp,  go to our program page on the Last Chance Ranch Website:


Posted:  May 12, 2021, by Jill Roggio

Minions at Last Chance Ranch?!?!

We all know and love the “Minions”, those fictional characters that appear in the Despicable Me franchise, but did you know that Last Chance Ranch (LCR) has their own “Minions”?

The fondly called “Minions” are teenagers that are current lesson students at LCR.  They came to Marie’s rescue one Saturday when she did not have an assistant and back-to-back lessons were scheduled all day!  Marie manages the horseback riding lesson program at LCR.  Check out our last blog to meet the amazing horses who are part of her lesson program.

Since that day, the minions help Marie get the lesson horses to/from the fields, get them ready for lessons, give birthday party pony rides (which are temporarily discontinued due to COVID) and assist with summer camp activities.  They also school (this means to exercise/train) some of the adoptable horses.  Even when there is not a lot to do, they will still hang around the barn after school, ready to assist with any project or horse that needs attention.

Why do the minions volunteer and love to be part of this special group?

Here are a few of their responses and pictures of them in action!

“I enjoy coming to LCR, learning about new horses and their abilities as this teaches me how to become a better rider with experiencing all the new/different situations.”

“I love being a minion as it has given me a good start to working with horses!”

“I love working with all the animals and have learned so much here!”







There is also a small group of adult volunteers who dedicate a couple of hours each week to help Marie work with the adoptable horses.  When someone wants to volunteer to ride, they have an evaluation ride on one of the lesson horses, so their abilities can best be matched to the appropriate horse(s).  Marie wants the volunteer riders to feel safe and never wants them to work with a horse that they are uncomfortable with.  It is not always riding that needs to be done, as some days, certain horses need to be groomed and lunged, or assistance is needed with an adoption appointment, etc.

Without volunteers, Marie would not be able to accomplish all the things that need to be done with the horses and the lesson program.  As with all the volunteers at Last Chance Ranch, they are very appreciated!  LCR could not be what we are today without our volunteers and friends!

Posted:  April 6, 2021, by Jill Roggio

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