You know, he is a sweet horse and it occurred to me that I could probably knock down his price even further (she wasn't asking a lot to start with, but honestly, he's not worth a lot) and add onto its training and really make him great. But here's the thing: if the seller could hide the fact that he's green-broke from me, what else might she be hiding? Someone who is that dishonest is a deal-breaker for me. Am I wrong?
Hmmm...my gut instinct is to just say there's no way I'd even communicate with someone like that again.
But if you think you can get the horse cheaply enough to make it worth your while, then I guess I see three big and important unknowns that would make me nervous about a dishonest seller:
1. True level of training
: You already know not to expect much, so you can't really be disappointed there.
2. Physical issues/age
: If she allowed you to do a comprehensive PPE, including pulling blood work and xrays (not sure if you were planning those anyway), then you'd be somewhat protected. She's not claiming any great bloodlines without papers or anything like that.
3. Major vices that you don't know about until it's too late:
I'm thinking about something like, the horse goes into a bucking fit if you ask for the canter in a weird way that you wouldn't think to try out ahead of time...Or starts rearing when he sees little boys wearing red baseball caps. Just something oddball that's potentially really difficult or dangerous, but rarely happens. It seems like that would be your greatest area of exposure, where a seller could know about a really major vice that wasn't immediately obvious and thus didn't have to be disclosed.
I don't know what I'd do in your shoes. I think I'd probably keep looking. But I also know you've had quite a time trying to find anything that you're excited about.