I've been spending a lot of time lately reading about the troubles with buying horses, from dishonest sellers to unbroke horses to undiagnosed physical problems. I was fortunate enough to avoid all of these so far. I knew her owner wanted $8000-10000 for her, and I knew that she would never, ever be able to get that much for a mare with almost zero training and breeding that was ok, but not spectacular.
The mare's mother was my longtime show partner, which gave her sentimental value to me. When I traded for her, I knew exactly what I was getting: a gorgeous, untrained, sweet, smart, and dominant mare. I don't know if her owner would have been honest about her training level, but it would have been hard to hide as soon as she tried to put a halter on her.
I'm very glad that I didn't have to spend months looking for the perfect horse. Miss Izzy is everything I wanted. She's young, athletic, pretty, and sweet. We're working with her dominance issue, and soon she and I will be able to go wherever we want to.