Thanks everyone for your responses!
Kayty, I don't think your comments were nasty at all - they were helpful. Can you tell me more about what about her confirmation (other than length) signal a weak back? Or, if there is a site I can go to for accurate information? What you said about her breaking down if pushed too hard/beyond her ability is something I'd hate to do to her or any horse I ride. Although right now we are doing very basic things. The only part I am unsure of is Bailey - he was a show horse (maybe he'll be shown again? I don't know his owner's plans), but now is leased part time (on the weekends) by another woman. Additionally, as of a few months ago I've been riding him a couple times a week. So I agree with his topline needing work! He actually has been looking a little better to me lately, but that very well could be my imagination
However, he seems to have no problem collecting. When I am
able to get myself together and sit correctly (halleluja!), his hind end comes right under and up he goes (though they are brief, those moments are awesome!). So different from when he just tucks his head (very easy for him to do) which makes him look pretty but does nothing else. Wait - I just re-read your comment - you said "high degrees of collection"! Sorry about that!
I am anything but high-level. Maybe someday...but right now I'll stick to basics.
66Domino, I agree! Every horse is made for a job :) As of now, I have no plans to compete seriously. Maybe a show or two each year to keep me honest in terms of my progress in dressage, but I do want to learn as much as I can. I guess you could say I am competing with myself! So in that way, when I do buy a horse, I'd like one that can progress with me. Also, I wish I were a good cook. I am a disaster in the kitchen unless it involves cleaning.
Tikapup1, They are both super sweet! Bailey is kind of a sensitive guy though. If he were a person he'd be into poetry, existential conversation, and possibly wear a beret!
What you've said really clarifies the uphill/downhill thing. I hear that talked about a lot, but your analogy of how a horse will flirt/prance in front of a horse is really helpful! Bailey is fancy-shmancy in the breeding department (the fanciest I've been aboard in a long time!). His half brother is a Welsh Cob that (I am not competing so I am going on what I've been told) is doing really well, named North Forks Brenin Cardi.