These are two mares we are interested in buying. Essentially what we want is a mare, who is around 15 hands and of a draftier build. She will be used for driving with our other mare(s) to do some fieldwork, general driving around, and some chores. I have two different mares in mind, both around the same age, but one is broke to drive and the other isn't. But the one who is broke to drive is a little bigger than our mare, and she is a Haflinger/Belgian cross who has a foal on her. The other mare isn't broke, but is the same breed as our mares, and is a half sister to the one she'd be working with. Mare number two is a Curly, ABCR registered and also has a foal on the ground.
Either way, realistically, it would be until September until we could get either mare. The Haflinger cross's owner would likely let us take her and the foal earlier as it is a short ride, but I'd still be worried about the stress of it, and we don't really want another foal, especially not a giant 3/4 Belgian in our midst! Talking prices, the trained mare is double the price of the Curly. If we got the Curly, I could easily get her started and ground driving enough to send her off in the spring of 2014. The cost of training and purchasing the mare would be less than buying the broke mare, but then you don't have a mare with years of experience.
We might not end up getting either mare, but having a small team we'd need a bit more power behind them. We have two mares, one I'm refreshing, and one that is right out of a month and a half of driving training. They would be a team, but I'd like to hitch three to make the load a bit easier. If we got the broke mare, it is likely that we'd sell her once we got something put together of the breed we want.
I'd like for people to critique both these mares as best as they can. I know, the pictures may not be ideal for conformation, but neither mare is yet in my back yard for the perfect picture. ;) Any advice on the matter would be lovely, assuming it is not irrationally harsh. We are just not sure which direction we should go with this matter.
Mare #1 Haflinger/Belgian Cross, broke to drive
Same mare, in a hitch of seven.
Mare #2 American Bashkir Curly, Mirage
*Note both mares were pregnant when these pictures were taken.