I have been working with him for about a month on the ground and he really really responds well to me. He backs, yields front end, yields back end, stops well with halter and without. I can also just about bend his head all the way to the shoulder on the left and he bends a little less to the right (but I've had horses that bend WAY less).
His owner has had him since he was a weanling and he was broke to ride at 2, then he sat in a field with his mama and NO work or riding until last summer. Last summer his owner rode him on trail most of the summer with no problem and then one day he suddenly "dumped" her and she never got back on him again. She is advertising him as only Halter broke because of this. I asked what size/type bit she used on him when she did ride him, she just said a regular one that came with the bridle (cheap nylon). I asked what size saddle he took, if he needed QH bars or a wide tree, she said she didn't know she just rode him in a regular western saddle. My consensus is that he most likely threw her because of bad fitting tack. She also didn't know how many hands he was, I measured him and his around 15 to 15.2.
He also has a leg that she said he cut on a wire fence when he was a yearling, that the vet said there was no tendon damage or other major damage and that it was just superficial. There is a LOT of proud flesh on it. He does not favor it in the least and when you feel it after working him on the lunge line there is no heat or increased swelling and it feels pretty smooth except for the actual scar. Yes, I am getting this looked at before buying.
I just want to know everyone's opinions on him as a potential pleasure horse who occasionally goes into the show ring. I know he won't be a champion dressage horse or eventer but does he have the conformation to make it okay in local shows over small fences or very very low level dressage? Or...am I already too attached to him to see his flaws and that he won't work well for this sort of thing.
Be brutally honest, please. I know when you get attached to a horse while buying it, you can become very blind to flaws. Oh and no that's not me in the blue shirt, that's my fiance'