I think I found 'Mr. Right'- he's a 5 1/2 yo chestnut gelding with very nice conformation and movement for dressage. He's a TB-Paint cross. He is very forward, seems eager to please, has a more QH temperament (not spooky or nervous).
However, the second time I tried him, he was a little bit balky-- making me kick him and use my dressage whip to get him moving out. He didn't do anything bad and I was able to get him more 'hot' off my leg after a few minutes, so I think he was just 'testing' me.
He's spent the last year with a fairly novice rider who is nervous around him and has perhaps not been the best influence on him, although she has had him with a couple different trainers, one who specializes in dressage.
I'm going to try him one more time before I decide. What should I test out with him? Is this balkiness a bad sign or just 'normal' what you'd expect from a smart 5 yo horse?
Thanks for any input!