Okay. My mom's boyfriend drove us to hid friend's house (he's the Amish guy who's selling the mare we're thinking about) and the horse is a Shire, fleabitten gray in color, but the sire is a full Shire and the dam is only part shire. She's a nice looking horse. We picked up her feet, brushed her all over, led her around (she followed without needing to be held on to), and I rode her around after the owner did. She doesn't neck rein, so I had to act like I was holding an English bridle and lay a rope around her neck to reinforce the neck reining concept. She seemed a little green, but I could work with her on that; help reinforce commands and teach her leg yielding, sidepassing, etc. Her trot was a little bouncy, but I could get used to it. It would be easier to ride her English and post to it, I think. She was clearly not drugged; very alert. As for the bridleless, the owner said his teenage son who was helping to train him used to take the mare out with just a rope around her neck last summer to help bring in the horses for the night, and he said she listened great. I didn't try her bridleless yesterday because they hadn't ridden her much this winter and I didn't want to be the first to ride her tackless after a winter of not riding tackless, but they also said that they would be able to get her to the point where she could ride bridleless again within a few weeks.
Price-wise....The seller tried to talk us into trading my Clydesdale, along with a few hundred in cash, for his mare, but my mom vetoed that and suggested instead that he take both our Paint Clydesdale and our 10hh pony stallion. (the pony is registered) He said he was interested in that and would consider it and get back to us. He's Amish, though, so he has to wait until his English friend comes by, who has a cell phone, to call us.
I don't "have to have" this horse, but if he's going to accept our offer of two horses for one, I'll take her. Does this sound like a fair deal?:
**I give him my broke-but-green (ridden Western) 7-yr old Paint Clydesdale gelding, 16hh and very stocky, who hates having his back hooves touched (but this guy's a horse trainer and a blacksmith so he could definitely work on that) and sometimes bites.
**I also give him my 5-yr old registered 10hh Welsh pony stallion.
**He gives me his 4-yr old broke Clydesdale, 16hh and pretty lanky, who is not registered and is not a purebred Shire. Rides English and Western (though I only saw Western saddles, so they most likely were implying that he responded to an English bit and English leg cues), rode bridleless a lot last summer, they said he doesn't have much speed but has endurance, I'm guessing he drives because most of his other Shires and Percherons we saw being both ridden and driven, although I would have no use for a driving horse.
I like the horse. She has a good temperament, is alert but calm, and is pretty responsive and got over her barn-sourness once I made sure she knew I was getting a ride out of her before we went back to the barn. They said she canters, but never mentioned galloping. Am I right to push the I-give-you-a-Clydesdale-and-a-registered-Welsh-for-your-horse instead of giving him cash and my Paint Clydesdale?