I am currently looking at a 6 yr old, 16.2Hh TB gelding who has been retrained off the track after a short stunt at racing. He has basic jumping and light dressage work on him but has not been asked to do anything but light western pleasure riding for the last year or so with an owner who unfortunately has very little knowledge of horses and has been treating him like a big puppy dog and spoiling him endlessly.
He has a sweet "in your pocket" personality and is very willing however I have noted several negative behaviors he desplays which all seem related to the lady who has been riding him.
He is very pushy on the ground (she gives him treats almost constantly when I am there and never repremands him for any negative behavior).
I asked him to lunge so I could see his movement and honestly he didn't seem to understand anything I was asking him. I did however get some movement after some effort but when I asked him to canter he showed light aggressive behavior by kicking out and rearing a little (He did not try to hit me but seemed to threaten).
After lunging him for a short amount of time I saddled him which he did fine with and rode him out to pasture to test his gaits. He did very well on everything until I asked him to stop. This horse has no breaks. The owner had him in a nasty twisted wire bit and honestly I know those things hurt and he didn't seem to care he just kept on walking. He would stop after about the third request. At the trott I had to run him into a fence.
I brought my dressage trainer out with me to look him and she expressed that she thought he had great potiential but due to him basically having his own way for the last year, he might be a handful for me to train and that would be exactly what he needs; to be retrained properly.
The owner is asking $1200 for him and is very willing to allow payments and I can ride him whenever I like.
My question is this: is he worth it?
What do you think of his behaviors?
He is a beautiful horse and I honestly feel bad for him because he wants a job and loves to be ridden but just seems to be lacking knowledge about what he is supposed to do.
I do not however, at my training level, want to get in over my head with a horse just because I feel bad for him.
Your advice would be greatly appreciated!