I've been riding for over 20 years and have owned horses through that time. I had a break for about 5 years and then decided I wanted to get another horse. Unfortunately I can't afford to buy one so I opted to loan.
I loaned a lovely 16.3 tb gelding called Billy 7 weeks ago. Unfortunately his owner was not honest with me and it turned out he had all kinds of problems. We were hacking out one day and he bolted and bucked like a bronko, I came off, was knocked unconscious and suffered really bad concussion for 3 weeks. Billy went back to his owner.
For the last 2 weeks I have been searching for another horse to loan, I have ridden 6, 5 of those were awful and had too many problems to list, however I have fallen in love with a 16.3 tb mare called Bally, she is 17 (which initially put me off). I have ridden her 3 times and she is super, the exact temperament I was after, fizzy but sensible, forward going and on her toes but really light in the mouth. She has done a bit of everything and is still really fit.
I decided I would have a 2 stage vetting done just for my peace of mind.
The vet advised me not to loan her as she was lame in her near hind. I couldn't see it and I certainly wasn't aware of it from riding her. I'm obviously gutted as I think she is wonderful.
The question is should I loan her. If the lameness caused problems I would return her to the owner.
Do I go for a horse that is lame, although it does seem to affect her performance (I only want to hack out and occasionally pop her over a few jumps) but her temperament is exactly what I want or do I go for a completely sound horse that might have a bad temperament.