Join Date: May 2007
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
They are both beautiful (I love paints). I live in Alaska, and have bought horses from AB, Canada, California, and Colorado. If you are considering buying from out of state, I would suggest physically visiting the horses to get a feel for them. Pictures don't show personality/temperment, and though I like to think the best of people, they are not always honest. I would also suggest having a vet examine them for soundness/health if you get serious about them. It will be worth the cost in the long run.
One possible concern is that the mare is primarily a broodmare; She is 18 years old, and if she has little riding experience at this age, I would not want her as my first horse. She could be a fine riding horse though - I agree that requesting more information is a good idea. Another possibility is to ask them to make a video (if you are seriously considerring these horses - don't waste their time). You can ask them to ride the mare at all gaits in both directions, handle her (especially around her foal -attitude?), brush her, lunge her, lead her, put her in a trailer, hose her down, clip her, handle the foal, tie her - basically anything that you might want to do with the horse - you want to know that she will not freak about it.
A reputable breeder should have no problem with a vet looking at them, making a video, or answering any of your questions in detail.
As for the foal, that is a huge training commitment, and may not be the best first horse situation unless you are willing to invest a decent amount of money into training/lessons and work with/handle the foal in some way on almost a daily basis. Maybe buy the set and sale the foal?
Eight years riding experience will help, but you will get a whole new world of issues thrown at you when you own your own horse. If you have some knowledgable horse friends, I suggest that you ask them to help you look at them, correspond with the seller, and get set up when you buy (whatever horse).
Good luck :)