Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
I think it's possible to get a young horse that is suitable for a beginner, but I don't see why anybody would do it.
It's a bit of a game of risk, horse buying.
To me, a good horse is composed of four factors, temperament, physical suitability, training and experience. When you lack any of those things you're looking at a horse who, at the very least, needs work. To me, a beginners horse is a horse that can teach the rider and help the rider where as a horse that needs work cannot do those things. Even your best three year old is going to be lacking in training and experience purely because of physical time restraints. There is no way past that fact. Adding to it a three year old will learn any bad habit you have, and you need to be teaching them good ones.
So when you find an older horse, you can try him out, push his buttons, see what he has done, get trainers to find out his more advanced skills. Each one of these tests decreases the amount of risk when buying a horse. And any horse you buy is a risk, it's hard to find safe, beginner friendly mounts. With a young horse, the risk goes right up because you're not just looking for an average safe mount, you're looking for an extraordinary mount who acts like an older horse would with minimal experience and training. The risk goes way up (to me).
To top of, I don't think there is any reason why a beginner would want to buy a three year old. Personally, I think there is very little going for this age bracket of horse - in fact it's probably my least favourite. They're generally frisky, unbalanced and tiresome - kind of like the teenagers of the horse world.
It's up to you to choose, any horse you love will be beautiful, and beauty doesn't guarantee a good horse. But that's just my two cents.
Just to add - in my experience those extraordinary horses, like dead quiet young ones, they're not advertised on online classifieds much, they sell through word of mouth quickly, or their owners just don't part with them.