And is your horse a good match for you? I'm no expert, nor would I ever claim to be. I can only speak from experience and sometimes experience speaks volumes........ I'm going to provide a list of things, I have learned when searching for a horse that suits your needs and that you can partner with. I invite everyone to add to it.
1) Know your limitations. In other words, know what you are capable of handling. I have learned what my limits are. I know that I lack the skills to handle a "hot" young inexperienced horse under my butt. I need a horse with miles and the fact that I do not ride in the winter nor am I a daily rider, I need a horse that is forgiving and can sit for a long period of time and then with just a little warm up, I can get on safely.
2) Unless, you are an expert & know what you are doing, meaning someone capable of training. If you are a casual rider or novice, Do not look for color first....... I thought Misty was the ugliest thing and it turns out that she is worth her weight in gold. All I see now is my beautiful redhead.
3) Take your time. Be patient. Don't jump at the first thing that comes along........Boy, have I learned that a couple of times.
4) Take a trainer or a more experienced horseman/woman that you trust with you when you look. Get their opinion.
5) Look at several and test ride. Show up earlier than expected to the appointment you've made to see the horse. Often people selling get the horse squeaky clean and super warmed up before you show up and therefore may give the impression that this horse is easier to handle than may actually be. Also, a horse with a health issue possibly may have been given meds to mask pain.
6) When you get to the time of possible purchase, I suggest a Vet check and keep your records, if you purchase said horse, those records may come in handy some day for your Vet to refer to. Someone who is honest will not mind a Vet check as it is pretty standard.
These are just some suggestions directed at people more like me. Not expert trainers, riders, etc. I got lucky with Misty and my friends Jess & Gerald found her for me. She has turned out to me my rock. Stephen & I found Kola on our own. I took my time with her when I found her and I have taken time with her here at home. She too is a good girl. The only reason, I worried about riding her is that my past "bad" experience got in the way, my own mind.........Nothing she has ever done and since I was able to get on her last summer without incident, my confidence has grown. That is on me. I now have horrible balance issues because of my MS. I am no longer young and fearless. I need a beginner type horse & a forgiving horse, of which I have. Add into the fact that I hadn't done anything with horses since I was a kid , really until 10yrs ago........ What I'm really getting at, is know what you need and accept that or challenge yourself a bit, but don't get in over your head or more than your experience allows. Now, purchasing a horse with training for you and your horse together with an expert is a different story. But even the most experienced horse people have horrible training experiences. It all is a learning curve. Over the past 10yrs I've grown tremendously as a smarter horse person, but have kept in mind, what I want to do, what I'm happy doing & what I am capable of handling. Lessons learned........many! Now I invite anybody to add their own tips or personal stories. No one needs to brag. I am humble enough to admit my limits.