*warning, a bit long...
I have been free leasing a sweet little mare from a lesson program for a few years now. I've been expecting for awhile that they were going to consider selling her soon, as she isn't really appropriate for their lesson program and is hardly used. Essentially, she's not earning her keep and she's taking up a stall. Well, I just got the email that they want to put her up for sale next week. It makes perfect sense for them to want to move her on, and I'm frankly surprised it hasn't happened sooner. So now I have to decide if I want her before she's listed.
Here are the pros:
-Easy keeper, good feet
-She is exactly the size I want
-Is capable of low level dressage, which is what I enjoy doing.
And the cons:
-18 years old, with a bit of a swayback that requires impeccable saddle fit and still being padded up when riding. I have never talked to a vet about long term implications of her back as I didn't handle vet care in my lease.
-As it currently stands, she's not great for trail riding (which is what I really want to be doing) as she's a bit barn sour and a little nervous alone or in a group. Granted, no one has worked on those issues with her recently (I didn't feel it was my place to do so during the lease period).
-They've offered her to me at $500 off asking price, which would put her at a price that I think is a little high for what she's worth.
It's so hard to be logical about this. She is the horse that has gotten me back into riding as an adult. She tested my confidence at first, but then helped me regain it. To be perfectly honest, I imagined that they would want to get rid of her eventually, at which point I would offer to take her for free as a pasture puff companion to another (as yet unpurchased) horse that I'd use for more strenuous trail riding. But, I'm about 1.5 years out from having a barn built at home, so not only would I be paying for her now rather than retiring her, I'd also be paying to board her.
Part of my head says that for the price they want for her and the cost of board, I can get a somewhat younger horse with more potential for trails. But the other part of me says I would like to be the one to see her through her last good riding years and then give her a nice retirement eventually.
I know none of you can tell me what to do, but I'd love to hear opinions on how you'd make a final decision about this.