I've helped many friends pick out horses, I've learned over the years from my own mistakes and the mistakes of others, what to look for and what to avoid. I learned a new lesson yesterday: Always talk to the children!
I went along with a friend of mine to look at a "nice well broke child safe" 10 year old QH mare. The horse was very nice looking, it was a nice looking place, and the owners kids were playing in the yard. My friend had gone with the lady to see the horses tack, and I was waiting by the tied horse. One of the little boys was hanging on the fence showing off, and obviously looking for attention. I decided to be polite and I asked him if he would miss the horse if we took it. He replies "No, she tries to bite me all the time." I was a little put off balance, and didn't know what to say. So I ask if his mom will miss the horse and he says, "No, she likes to start kicking really high all the time and runs away and Mommy falls off. Mommy says she's a really bad horse."