Thank you so much everyone for the encouragment. It really means a lot to me!
Ridehorses, he is probably the calmest barrel horse I've ever ridden or seen for that matter. He is a "head hanging low walking into the gate and head hanging low walking out of the gate" type of guy. I know exactly what you mean about the stopping issue with many barrel horses. I hate that. All of my friends horses cannot stand still for anything, and several of them are uncontrollable in the gate--as in, if you point towards the barrels you are going and there is no stopping it. He isn't like that at all.
Another thing I adored was how he would back up. Can you see my hands very well? I pull back very lightly once and he takes more than a step back, quite a few. If I pull back again very lightly he will take a hand full of steps back. Many barrel horses, including my old horse, would rear if asked to back up more than a couple inches.
He is ridden in a hackamore and runs barrels in a hackamore. He is amazing, literally. I've also been wondering what it feels like to "click" with a horse? You know, the cliche, "I knew it was him at the moment I saw him!!" kind of bonding moment many people claim to have. I felt incredibly safe on him (I'm quite a chicken for a barrel racer) and I trusted him with my life so quickly. I miss him and sometimes when I think about him I want to cry! But he is the second horse I've looked at since selling my crazy horse. Is it too soon to find the right one? Should I wait?
I just don't know what to do..