I recently went thru the same dilemma...saw a grey mare on craigslist that looked so depressed and something just made me email the listing to my hubby, who I just knew would say no, said yes. I was amazed...so it just felt right about getting her. We went to look at her, underweight, hooves looked horrible (she had a crack from from the top to botton of her hoof on one of her fronts, and old injury on a back foot, but didnt favor it, run down heels and over grown toes because apparently they wanted to keep her in riding shape and took her on some crazy hard surfaces, and still havent been able to get much growth on the heels), and she had been beat up by the peoples other horses to the point she still gets into a panic when she's with my horses and she thinks she boxed in by them. She is calming down alot with them, because my horses think she's fantastic, but she had quite a number done on her. My vet said she was a TB when she came out for shots etc, but you know what I thought would take forever and hard to put weight on her (boarded a TB before, real hard to put weight on), only took me a little over a month, and I havent done anything extreme, just good grain, omega supplement, and grass/hay. All her bite marks have filled in, her hair on her back has grown back (think they used a terrible saddle/pad on her to make her hair so thin on top), she has filled out, her feet were trimmed and will probably go ahead and put shoes on next time just to get some heel growth. I know I should have tried her out before I bought her, but she just looked so pitiful when I met her there was no way I was going to subject her to a ride too. And I offered 400 and they took it, so its not like I expected perfection at that cost. I wanted her feeling good when I tried her out finally, and I did start about 2 weeks ago, and suprisingly she is good, green about responding to leg pressue and flexing etc, but she likes to go, I want to keep her just at a walk though until we get better at recognizing signals because she is so green, but she's not a bucker and that is fantastic because I can work with that. And boy does she have a beautiful trot and run when watching her in the pasture so I know she's going to be a great addition. Sometimes you just have to go with your gut feelings, and in this instance for me she turned out great. And she was only 9 so she's got alot of years left.