Congrats on getting your own horse! My mom had horses all her life until she got married and had kids. Ever since I could talk and think rational thoughts I've wanted some. Then 2 years ago I finally got into it thanks to luck and dogged determination! Now I've got 3, and I just got the latest little girl last week. Instead of buying great quality stock I've been drawn to broken down rescues. So while my first mare might not technically be counted as a rescue, my other 2 fillies are and I love them all the pieces. Makes me feel good taking in horses in need and turning them into something that someone else didn't give them the chance to be. Altogether only spent $150 on the actual horses themsleves! Ha!
Tack though... that's another story, if you know what I mean.
Keep us updated on your horse search! I love hearing when people get new ones, especially their first. And don't make it seem like goodbye to the horse you've been riding! Like you said, he'll be around, and there's a special bond there.