As for "dealing"... *big sigh*
The thing is that with the sheer volume of horses on the market right now, given the time of year and the price bracket i am looking in, I really feel that I'd be remiss in not doing my best to get the best horse I can for the best price. In order to do this I have assembled a list of horses that, on paper, work for me. They all meet the qualities on my "must have" list... which are...
Must be between 2-15 years old mare or gelding.
If Mare must be registered AQHA or APHA.
Must be over 1000 pounds (stocky short or taller/bigger bodied)
Must not have any distracting conformational qualities (no ewe neck, throat-latch-less-wonders, high tail sets, unbalanced body ratio etc.) I dont need pretty but I'd rather not have ugly.
Must have good, fair or large sized feet, good slope to the pastern, good bone, and shoulder angle.
Must travel sound.
Must TIE well to trailer and stand tied quietly.
Must be good in a herd (not a strong alpha).
Must be well started and reasonably quiet, not hot or flighty.
Must not be herd bound.
Must be GOOD MINDED.
Now, I like to "deal" BEFORE going to see a horse, which to some people is ass backwards. My reasoning is this: When I go to see a horse the only objective I have is to see whether the seller truthfully represented the qualities of the horse and if I "connect" with that horse. If I find the horse as advertised and I feel that we will make good partners, I want to be able to express my feelings of excitement and show to seller how much appreciate all of the wonderful qualities of their horse. I want to say, "I love him. When can I pick him up!" If I havent already negotiated I feel the need to reserve my emotions and conceal my true affection for the animal because most often the seller will see an appreciation of the horse justification to firm up their price.
Occasionally a seller will be more negotiable on a horse when they see that it will go to a "good home" but in my experience I can convince a buyer of my good intentions and quality of home before seeing the horse.
The other issue I have with negotiating afterwards is that I find that I can not effectively negotiate on a horse after I have allowed myself to become sentimentally attached to. Right now I have a handful of horses that fit the bill but I also I have my favorites. I will start by negotiating on my favorite. But if they wont move to within a price I feel is fair then I will simply move on to my second favorite horse without feeling emotionally disappointed. The benefit to the seller in negotiating before hand is that they do not have to fear a buyer is wasting their time nor do they have to listen to a seller pick their horses to death in an effort to justify a lower price.
The bottom line is that if a seller is not comfortable dealing on a horse before viewing, that is fine. But as a result that horse will probably go to the bottom of my "horses to see" list.
Anyways, I think I have made up my mind on which horse I'd like to deal on first. She is an AQHA bay roan mare.... but then there is an APHA sorrel and white tobiano that is running a close second.... or maybe the palomino gelding should be second.... could be that sorrel gelding with the not-so-pretty face...
And that is how this horse crazed mind rolls...