I'm all set to vet check a gorgeous NZ OTTB. He's 10 with 38 starts. Great handling, one trainer, one owner, light racing schedule, a year and half of let down. He's up-to-date on everything, healthy weight, beautiful feet, shod, supplemented, etc. Beautiful conformation. He is VERY green, but has go, whoa, and two leads.
A friend who rescues auction horses called me to check out a 4 y/o filly. I don't know her history but the vet who looked at her and thinks she's sound (with a tiny bit of hoof soreness from over-trimming). She came from a feedlot. I looked her up: 8 starts, 2 seconds, 2 thirds, then retired (???). She is over at one knee, but otherwise has very nice conformation.
They both have things I want, but are very different from one another:
He is $3500 and she is $500.
He is older and she is younger (my preference).
He has a known history and hers is totally unknown.
He has a long, successful racing career and hers was brief.
He is flashy and handsome (grey + strawberry roan) and she is fairly plain (bay w/ no markings and a bulgy forehead).
He has straight, clean legs and she is over at one knee.
He is a nice mover but she is an incredible mover (major suspension and huge floaty gaits).
He is a gelding (my preference + easier re-sale) and she is a mare.
He has more re-training and she is basically fresh off the track.
Both have very nice overall conformation. He is built more like a warmblood (beefier, bigger bones, well-sprung ribs, etc.) and she is more like a typical American TB (refined, long and lean, more narrow).
Both are incredibly sweet and have nice ground manners.
Would appreciate your input. I don't have a big budget, so I know I'm going to have to compromise on certain things. I was fairly confident about my decision to adopt the NZ TB gelding, but after seeing such a lovely, talented mare for dirt cheap I'm second-guessing myself. I think I'm just overwhelmed and burnt out on horse shopping.