I'm in the process of looking at horses now, and I came across one whose ad sounded interesting. When I asked for photos, I was surprised to see that the horse was quite skinny (ribs obvious, hip protruding, minimal muscling) which made me curious about whether or not it's worth going to see a horse in that condition; how would you evaluate whether it's a good match for you or not?
Here's kind of what I'm talking about... this is NOT the horse I'm talking about, and is only slightly worse than the photo that was sent to me. (This is a photo of a rescue horse at intake)
What I'm wondering is- would a horse like this be too skinny to test ride in good conscience? Would a horse like this change in personality as he got to healthier weight?
Whatever horse I end up getting will be my first horse, but I'm boarding at a facility with great people who are very knowledgeable and supportive. Would I be better off just steering clear of a horse like this, even if he seems as nice as the seller describes and is just skinny because they've fallen on hard times and are unable to afford enough feed (or maybe don't know how to keep weight on a hard keeper)?
I ask both in a general sense and as I'm trying to decide if it's worth going to see this particular horse in person. For reference, the seller says he has excellent ground manners, settles in to new places easily, has shown training level dressage and schools 1st and some 2nd level movements, but has been out of consistent for over a year. He's an 8 year old Oldenburg/TB cross sired by Art Deco (I assume he's probably got some other breed(s) in him, too, as he's only 15.1hh)