It's up to you, of course, but my outsider's opinion is, if I was looking for a beginner's riding horse, *no way* would I consider buying one that wasn't in good enough condition to be test-ridden multiple times, in a variety of circumstances. You want to see if *you* can ride it; or is it too unresponsive, too fast, too spooky, bucks when you give it incorrect aids, that sort of thing. You won't know unless you ride it. Take a look round the forums here and you will find many threads where people write stuff along the lines of: "He's so sweet and gentle on the ground and we have a great bond, but he turns into a holy terror when ridden. Please help!"
It takes a fair bit of knowledge to rehab a horse. Lord only knows how sound it is or what underlying health problems it may have. And vet bills (cheap horses usually aren't). I'm not sure I would do it, and I've had horses for most of my life. Also, if it's in the condition of that horse, you won't know what its "real" personality is like. Many horses can appear quiet and gentle when they are significantly underweight, but as soon as the weight and muscle go on and they are feeling better, they turn into a different, and often far more exciting, horse.
I hope you're considering having whatever horse you consider buying thoroughly vet checked.
Last edited by thesilverspear; 09-26-2011 at 11:49 AM.