So I kinda, sorta, maybe have my mind made up, but would love some input. I have been shopping for a horse to lease to show dressage next year. I have gone to see 4 so far with 2 more to come this week. The first two were for sure not an option, the second two sound promising though.
One is an 8 year old warmblood mare. She has been sitting for a while due to the owner's pregnancy, but before her break she was schooling 2'9'' and from the pictures appears to have tons of room to go higher (not that would really be an issue for me). I would mostly do dressage with her, but I like that she jumps because I am taking jumping lessons right now (mostly just for fun.) The pros of her is that I would be her soul caretaker, I wouldn't have to share her with anybody else. She would also be housed right next door to me, so I would be able to see her daily if I wanted to. I live on 150 acres with lots of trails, and I have already been fantasizing about riding her on them. She takes care of her rider over fences, and was very forgiving. The cons, she was very heavy on my hands and had no brakes, she is also a bit of a hot ride. Right now she carries herself very upside down, when I was trotting her her head was just about level with mine. She also has zero ground manners. Because I would be doing all her care costs I would have to cut back on my lesson taking, and my saddle doesn't fit her. The place that I would be keeping her also doesn't have an indoor.
The second one is an older Arab gelding. He has mostly been used as a trail horse, but has the lovely Arab suspended trot and nice canter. One of the pros and the cons is that I would be sharing him with his owner. This means that I will only be paying half of board, and am not responsible for any of his other costs. He is also boarded at a place that has an indoor. The owner said that I could show him next year, no problem. He is also a little hot, but didn't feel uncontrollable. He is boarded 30 minutes from my house. He hasn't had a lot of formal training from what I can gather, but he does know how to lift his back and drop his head down. He was also very light in my hands. I think he has a lot of potential for what I want to do. He has never been schooled over fences, but apparently he has no problem hopping over stuff out on the trails. My saddle fits him perfectly.
I don't really want to share a horse, I have leased twice before and both times the sharing part ended up becoming a real issue. My second lease ended because I felt like there were just too many irons in the fire and was becoming frustrated. This lady seems pretty reasonable, and several times has made it clear that she wants me to be able to come out at least a couple times a week.
I also don't fancy the idea of selling the saddle that I know for sure fits my mare that is leased out, to buy something different.
Right now I kind of feel like putting a name in a hat and pulling one out. I just really can't decide. Each one has some really good pros.
The other issue with the mare is that she is 2.5 hours away, while I would really like to go see her again, time and gas money constraints are going to make that hard. The Arab I have plans to go see again this week