Ok, here's my buying story for those who don't know:
I went to see a horse listed as a grade trail horse. The guy didnt really know what he was, just got him for his daughters to ride for fun. They werent as interested as he thought so he decided to sell him.
I went with a friend and we both rode him. He was very dirty, looked like he hadn't been groomed in a long time, and his feet were long, but otherwise ok. He rode awesome! He went strait from a walk to a beautiful slow lope and was soo sweet and responsive we decided to take him. I paid only $300.
I got him home, cleaned him up, and found a brand on the side of his neck. I looked it up and found out that it was a racing brand. Palmer, or registered name "Palmer Seelster" was an old Standardbred sulky racer. I was able to get all his history and records online. I contacted his old racing owner and found out that a suspensory injury ended his career.
Of course a week after I got him I noticed something wrong and took him to the vet. He was diagnosed partially lame in his left stifle and only sound for light riding. He's on supplements and meds, but nothings working. I'm going to see specialist and get x-rays, but in the end my vet said don't get your hopes up.
I have since been looking into other horses and being much more careful about what I get. I almost got a beautiful Appy mare with wonderful conformantion and the spunkiest sassy attitude... only to contact her vet through my own job and found out she had laminitis in the past :/ I also looked into a spotted saddlebred, only to contact his first owner and found out that the current owners lied about everything he had done in the past.
Needless to say, I havent had a good time finding my ideal horse.