OMG he's coming back. UPDATE: Decision has been made!
I traded my last horse (a 16 yo DWB cross, topped out at 3rd/4th level) for my current horse (an 8 yo WB, currently making the leap to 3rd) three years ago.
The horse I traded was a solid citizen--with some quirks--and a cribber. But he is an almost guaranteed 60+% down the C-line with a monkey on his back, has excellent ground manners and is an all-around good guy. I traded him because he was getting older, clearly wasn't going to go PSG, and this fancy young thing caught my eye. The woman I switched with wanted a horse for her JR rider (for which he would be perfect). She knew the horse well, and the younger horse she had was not suited for either her or her daughter.
I moved barns as we parted ways, and about 18 months or so later she traded this horse in a less-than-honest manner. Needless to say the current owner (who is a professional) used the horse for a student for a while, and with that student gone he has no job. And now he's 19 and has had not much interest for him for sale (well under $10K).
She contacted me yesterday and said I could have him back for free. YIKES!
He's a great horse. He's not for everyone (needs a confident rider otherwise he's spooky) and he "fakes it" easily but is difficult to really get through. He's 19. I board (but I've worked out a deal with the BO, so it would be reasonable to keep him for awhile). I barely have enough time for my current horse, but he's going to the trainer's for a bit to smooth out the changes, so I'd be horseless a few months anyway.
In a perfect world, I'd give or free lease him to a JR rider because I do honestly think he has a lot of years left and a lot to teach (this is not a sales ad, I haven't even accepted the offer yet).
Am I totally nutzo for even considering taking him back?