Faceman,Wallaby, thank you. I spent a lot of time yesterday thinking and talking with my trainer. We decided that our number 1 concern is the horrible loose stool issue he currently has. Maybe it's a diet change, maybe it's stress, but what if he gets that way with every change? Imagine each 4-H ride or show causing him to get that stressed. What is really causing it? Is he going to be prone to ulcers, or colic because of it, and is that why he was so mellow? Was he to the point of being lethargic?
That might have something to do with his tummy that someone mentioned. I'm not totally ruling him out, but the health issue is just as big of a deal to me as structural issues.
This is what happens when I spend 24 hours thinking...I almost talk myself out of horses. I guess that's a good thing since this is a long term commitment and I'm trusting my kid's life to this animal. It better be just right. I'll know when I am unable to talk myself out of a horse that I've found the right one.
I think we'll go back down in 2 weeks and look one more time. If his stools have gone back to normal, I'll attribute it to stress, then consider how long it was going to take to get over that.
I really appreciate the feedback. I will keep looking, keep sharing options. I don't particularly want a mare, but there is a very local show horse that is for sale that I could also get a good trial on. We're going to check her out this week. She's a much better age for a kid, but I've heard rumors that she gets quite mare-ish at times. Do I want to deal with her and my daughter's hormones at the same time? That could really suck!