He was originally a rescue (starved) 5 years ago. A girl bought him, and she's had him for these 5 years. She's going to college now, and she can't afford him anymore, so she gave him back to the rescue (the rescue doesn't allow you to sell/give away the horses.)
I think he'll be a pretty good horse for me. The vet thinks he's 16 years old, so I figure that's a decent age for a first horse. I'm going to be using him for gaming events at our county fair grounds. He's been doing that type of stuff for 5 years, and I know he's fast. The biggest issue I have with him is that he doesn't seem like he likes to trot. It was VERY hard for me to get him to trot at all (he was good with the other gaits).
The girl that previously owned him thinks that I controlled him well. He did take off once, but I was able to bring him down fairly fast. At some other times I could feel that he was going to try to take off, and I was able to keep him at his current pace.
I'm nervous because I don't want to "ruin" him. I don't want to do something wrong and totally screw him up. I would never forgive myself. I know a lot of horse people though, so I probably shouldn't be nervous about it.