As it stands now, I am thinking (hoping!) that this was mainly a respect thing. As her seller pointed out, and as a couple have touched upon in their replies - I really think Lolli's issue is one of dominance and thinking that she is alpha mare. We have started taking it back to basics so to speak and I'm working on some things to try and gain respect and trust.
I worked with her about 2 hours yesterday (will do the same today during my youngest's first nap) and am noticing changes even in her head carriage when she's being groomed, or being lead, etc. I'm trying not to get my hopes up totally, because I know I'm going to feel crushed as soon as I get on her and she starts tossing the head again.
Not sure what the last update was that I posted - but my daughter did get up on her the last 2 days after being worked - 2 days ago she tossed her head 2x total and yesterday just 1x (yesterday would have been perfect, but as we were about to end the session she did it - so rather than ending at that point, we had her go around the ring 1 more time).
If someone have further suggestions, please add them. I'm not just looking to give up if there is hope. I was asking for honest opinions because I was concerned that the people who were pushing me to give her back had ulterior motives -- and I was also skeptical of the seller's advice only because we were misled - I don't care what anyone else wants to imply. I was told that she would make a good 4-H horse, etc - I did not lie about my riding skills.
To Charis - we are all welcome to have an opinion but I have to strongly disagree with you on the whole mudsmearing thing about the seller. I haven't mentioned a name, haven't even begun to mention the details of this whole ordeal.
No we did not ride them prior to purchase. Yes, stupid mistake. I have said probably 10x that I realize (in hindsight) that we did many things wrong. This was a biggie. Every single time we asked to ride the horses, we were told that the riding conditions on their property were not safe. Their paddock area (along with their round pen) was covered in about 4-5 inches of mucky mud. This didn't allow for proper footing for the horse (meaning it wouldn't even be ideal to lunge a horse there unless you wanted them to slip). If we had a trailer, I guess I would have insisted that they be brought up to our place so we could ride.
They were checked out by a vet (we're using the same vet the prior seller was using - as we live in the same town). No, no one helped with the process - again, another mistake.
I know for a fact what transpired, just as I know I did not oversell myself on my riding abilities. The thought of me doing this makes no sense. WHY would I want to buy a horse that I couldn't ride? I wasn't interested in training for any specific discipline or anything - I simply wanted a horse to have fun with out on all the trails. During our first phone call, the seller asked me what I was looking for. I proceeded to tell her that I was looking for a fairly mellow horse (but not an "old gray mare" in the sense that I didn't want something with zero personality or oomph - meaning you'd have to fight to even get the horse to trot), wanted one that enjoyed human interaction (for things like grooming, groundwork, etc), one that was experienced on the trails, and one that my younger kids could ride in a couple years. She then asked how tall I was - when I replied she said she had the PERFECT horse for me.
I realize that I was blinded by the pretty black/white paint and that when I should have put my foot down and made some demands (like to ride her) I didn't. I have admit all this already, in previous posts. At the time, the situation just seemed to ideal. We found 2 horses, that fit the description of what we were each looking for, locally. When I should have put my foot down about certain things, I allowed myself to be an easy target out of excitement (I've wanted a horse for over 20 years now). We had just invested all the time and money in clearing our land by hand, building a barn, putting up the fencing, etc. I can admit where I was at fault. STUPID of me, because like I said, if this was over a new dog, I would have been much more choosy. I never would have even considered buying one locally, because I'm particular about the bloodlines I'll even have in my yard. But again, I am more experienced in dogs. The horse ownership thing is new to me.
The fact of the matter, whether you want to believe it or not (honestly, either way it's not going to change the situation at this point) - is that the ENTIRE situation has left me with a sour taste in my mouth. As my husband puts it - she 'nickel and dimed' the entire transaction. She started charging us "board" from the minute we put our deposits down (what should have been done, is that we didn't put a damned deposit down and just paid in full when they were to be delivered), she charged us to trailer the horses literally like 10 miles down the street. Basically, when it came to sit down and sign paperwork, the night before the horses were to arrive, she had added on a bunch of charges that were not previously discussed. When my husband called to discuss this with her (as he wasn't home at the time) she hung up on him and would only talk to me (because she knew I was the one she could push around). She then lessened the trailering fee to something like $150.
As plenty of people have said on this board, the horse market is not what it once was. She was making over $5K off of this sale, and even with that, had to keep pushing to make more and more money. I didn't add any of this into my initial post, because all I was interested in was getting opinions on the situation with Lolli - not on the sales transaction. The stuff concerning the sale of these 2 horses is over and done with now - it cannot be changed. This is why I didn't put it all in my original post.
What I really SHOULD have done, was call the seller the first time my daughter got on her horse when it was full up rearing (to the point where it could have fell backwards on her). Yes, my daughter is an experienced rider - but the direct quote out of the seller's mouth was "her only flaw is having a high head carriage." She is LUCKY that my daughter was able to handle this horse - it could have killed some body less experienced (including myself) easily.
Anyhow, I apologize for the lengthy post..... Just wanted to touch answer some of the questions that were asked.
In all honesty, I'd love for things to work out with Lolli. I'd have my black/white paint that I can actually ride, she'd have a great home - we'll both be happy. Although I was not planning on having to basically start from scratch, well - I'm giving it a go. If it doesn't work out, at least I'll know I gave it a shot and will not be second guessing myself a year from now.