Sigh... I'm pretty exhausted from driving 2 hours to sit in a 2 hr meeting, viewing two horses, and driving 2 hours back home, so I will make it short.
Horse # 1 QH mare, 18 yrs, 16hh (seller had claimed 15.2, but when I got there, he said she's probably 16). She has good lineage, was shown and ridden on trails extensively, then used as a broodmare (owner had a pretty active breeding program for a while), and now just an occasional mount for the grandkids. However, when they tried to ride her the other day, before my visit, she put up a fight, so they had the vet come and it turned out her teeth were pretty pointy. She had them floated today (vet was still there when I arrived so I got to chat with him). Obviously, the horse had been sedated and so I didn't ride her. The seller had given me a heads up about this before I got there, but I decided to go anyway, since I was nearby and it would give me a chance to see what he was all about. Bottom line is that he feels she'd make a good solid horse, but needs a refresher. He's prepared to let me take her, put her in a retraining, and then decide if I want to buy her or not (for 1000$). That my sound like a generous offer, but I find it hard to justify retraining an 18 year old. I'd be putting money into this horse that may or may not be suitable, and if it is, for how long?
Horse # 2 Arab x Welsh, 15 yrs, 14.1 (but I think closer to 14). Harley is 14.2 and she really felt like a pony to me. Cute, friendly, but overweight and completely out of shape from not being ridden for about a year (she had a baby). Her pasterns looked fine, she moved nicely when I watched the owner ride her, but when I hopped on, I could not, for the life of me, keep her trotting. She definitely has a lot more whoa than go. May have a bit of a stubborn streak. Has not done many trails, and the seller thinks she'd do ok as long as there was another horse with her. I couldn't get her to canter at all. When I asked the seller if there was a trick I didn't know about, she said she'd always had to ride her with spurs. If you do not press hard into her side with your leg ALL the time, she reverts to a walk.
I'm not even sure it's worth bringing my daughter out to see either of these horses. She does not want a pony and #2 really feels like and looks like a pony (very cute! but more suited to a 5 year old who can ride her for a few years). # 1 is getting a little old in the tooth and appears to require additional training.
My feeling is that I should keep looking... and yes, who knows, maybe take a horse on loan from my coach in the meantime! I'm touched that she trusts me enough to offer... and she did say that she has one that she thinks might be a good horse for me when its training is finished.
I said I would make it short didn't I. Brevity is not my strong suit.