Thank you so much for all your replies! Reading through them has been so helpful.
I think part of the problem with finding someone to go with me is the horse is 2.5 hours away! He sounds like my dream horse on paper, but now to see him in person is the part I am nervous about.
I have been riding for about 18 years or so, but I only took lessons for about 10 years of that time. I did mostly pleasure riding, basic dressage/ basic jumper, but now I just trail ride a neighbor's horse a few times a week. I wasn't really looking to buy, but a boarding situation dropped in my lap that I really liked, and the owner of this horse had known my passion for horses and contacted me herself about rehoming her gelding! He isn't even technically listed for sale, but she knows I would be a good owner.
My husband and I did out the cost for farrier, board, vet, etc, plus factoring in a savings in case anything major happens and we really believe this to be a good decision.
Although now that I agreed to look at the horse I do feel nervous about turning her down if he isn't the right fit, since I hope she isn't banking on me buying him (since she just got his health certs done in case he has to cross the border to my state).
All that to say... I have enough horse experience to know the basics of "is this horse lame," "do we get along" type things.
I did post his picture in another forum under horse sales, and got some good responses. He has done breed demonstrations each year, but isn't ridden super consistently (will have months off at a time, but gets right back into it when he comes back). I am a teacher with summers off and I don't mind putting the schooling time in to make sure he is back in regular work.
So far the information I have on him is:
He has never had any colic issues and stays a good weight and healthy on hay and grass alone.
He has never had soundness issues, and the farrier says his feet are "the best feet he's ever seen" and he "wishes he could take them off to show others the example of a perfect foot." He is barefoot, but with hard feet good for trail riding.
He is 12 years old and never had an emergency vet visit.
He is great ridden bareback, as his previous owner mostly rode bareback (I hope he can transition to English riding okay? I am NOT going to be showing with him, just fun hacks).
Even though he is an easy keeper, he has never had any laminitis or founder worries.
He is gorgeous :) haha I threw that in. At least from his pictures!
Here he is : snow2.jpg Snowsideview.jpg dood3.jpg
Keep the questions I should ask coming.. I like to be prepared to meet him and his owner.