Alright so I tried out the mare.
She hadn't been worked in a month and it shows. While she has lovely gaits, she is not a fan of contact and gapes her mouth to avoid the bit. I took her for a spin and when I asked her to turn she cantered. Her canter was very nice though not what I wanted.
Her trot was nice but inconsistent. She'd slow down when she wanted and speed up when she wanted. She tripped a few times while I was trotting her. I took her over some ground poles and she did well but rushed them.
I felt the muscles on her neck and they were really stiff and hard. So I began to massage them and she loooooooved it. I picked her feet without too many issues. When her owner was girthing her up she was very girth sour about it and she was going slow. The owner bought her own tack and the bit is what I consider EXTREMELY thick.. like bigger than both of my thumbs combined. It's a 2 jointed bit but with loose rings. She wears a bridle with a flash. I'm not sure that this is what she is happiest in since she gapes her mouth about 90% of the ride.
The owner has a lunging whip and line but has never lunged her. She's 12 years old and apparently with her previous owner did some dressage and jumping.. though she was probably pushed too hard too fast since she doesn't seem that experienced.
We went for a ride through the hills towards the beach and down the road. She's not super spooky but she did startle now and then.
I have a chance to ride/work with her throughout the week and on Sundays. It's at no cost to me but I'm wondering if I should take up this offer or pass. Basically it's another project from which the only benefits would be more miles in the saddle for me and helping this mare feel more comfortable.