You need to decide on a dollar amount you are willing to spend before you get into haggling. This is important, so you don't spend more than you can afford if emotions get in the way.
When you talk to the seller, (and in person is always best) you should be armed with cash and a pen and paper.
It is ok to offer below the asking price, but you don't want to go too lowball, unless their asking price is truly outrageous. So you need to have done research on what the going price is on a horse of a similar age, level, and temperment.
When I make the offer is when I pull out the cash. It doesn't have to be the full amount, but a healthy deposit.
ie I will offer you $2800 for him, and here is $500 to hold him.
You can offer below your top price, but don't let yourself be persuaded higher.
Then you can draw up a receipt on the spot for the deposit.
The cash in hand is how I got my horse Gunner. Someone had already seen him, and was going to come back the following day with her trainer. She was really interested, and would prob have paid full price.
But money talks, and when I flashed the money at the seller, she caved pretty quickly, even though what I offered was a few hundred less.
Last edited by Skipsfirstspike; 02-16-2012 at 08:57 PM.