OK guys...I'm going to try to keep up and respond to all comments and questions, but I have to admit I'm a wee bit confused, lost in the thread! :0)
Okay, one at a time:
1) FnB (& this will also address one other poster...have to look back at whom-SORRY!) Yes, most certainly, I would have both my trainer and my husband accompany me ..my trainer has 40 years of horse breeding/showing/riding and owning experience, and would probably know at minute three which direction the situation would take! My husband is AMAZING (TRULY) at "reading" people; thus, if there's anything "off" about the sellers, things which they are trying to hide, he'll pick it up immediately!
I'd like to ask that they allow me to (in their immediate presence, naturally!) tack him up myself in his usual tack (they mention in the ad riding him in their tack or mine, so...) & then ask them to demonstrate riding him (as they "usually" do)... if for some reason, they are quite differently sized from me, or only own Western tack is available (their own), I'll ask to tack him up in the saddle my trainer uses for riding one of her boarder's similarly-sized arabs, so long, of course, as he looks okay to Holly "generally", and passes an initial visual inspection with no glaring defects, and then same while (passes inspection) under saddle for the owner; will ride him briefly, see how he behaves with me on him, etc ...and perhaps see if Holly will ride him as well...
2) Smrobs and DHW: if you feel the pasterns are concerning than I will be concerned! I significantly lack in ability to see specific, "non-glaring" (,to me!) conformational defects/deficits, thus, will look more closely once I'm finished with this post and again have access to the photos of him. Can you guys educate me, please, as to specifically what you see that makes you feel he is not comfortable on his fronts? I would be extremely appreciative for the tutorial, because I totally missed that in the photos! Precisely why I fear buying! Is this something glaring? How can I safely own any horse if I can blindly miss signs/ symptoms of horse discomfort in a photo! In life, I can readily tell if a creature has pain, so that IS a good thing, but I should, IMO, be more advanced by now and not miss such things! :0(
3) Someone asked about budget for purchase... it is preferable given the economy as it stands, that I not spend greater than $5,000. If the question had been raised six months ago, I'd have been willing to spend more. Bottom line is that I just, (as does EVERYONE, OF COURSE!) want the RIGHT HORSE! I could have "maybe" five to ten years of "normal, healthy life" left...Sadly, I have squandered much of my healthier youth doing NOTHING for me, always assuming, "Ill have that time later...work hard now, you can "enjoy" life later...This decision to come back to horses is, for me, along with religion, my hope for some "peace" for whatever part of life I have to live in a "normal" fashion! I don't know... If the "perfect" horse was to pop out of a glitter-bubble, happy and healthy and ready for me to take him home, well, more funds would be a possibility. But you folks have taught me a lot, and that I CAN find what I need for much less than I'd assumed!
4) Thank you SO MUCH for the the other horse ads/postings/ possibilities, you guys!! I have good feelings on all I've looked at thus far (& think it'd be best to comment individually on those, to keep all the info straight!).
At this point, given that I'm not sure my trainer can travel far, (with her immensely busy schedule), at least until summer, I would say that a horse less than 50 miles from where I live has become more of a requirement than I had previously anticipated.
OK, soo much more to add! I must get going for a few hours, but intend to look at other postings you guys put up, and will write more later! Oh, wanted to quickly mention, ad Saddlebag said something about height? Height isn't a factor for ME, though I do love drafts, it isn't because they are "tall", rather, I just love the "tank-like" safety FEELING they provide. Honestly, I feel I'd do best on a horse that is 15hh at most! :0) OK! Can't thank you enough, though, no word yet from email sent to owners of Arab, so may all be moot where he's concerned! :0)
Best to ALL! B2H. ;0)
"I'm too busy working on my own grass to notice if yours is greener"