My first horse was bought for me by my father. He was 15 years old or so, if I remember correctly. He was probably 16 hands tall, though anything upward of 15hh is TALL to me, so he may not have been as giant as I remember. He was pure white (actually grey now that I am educated, but at the time I thought I had a WHITE dream horse). When he got home, he was coughing and had a runny nose. Vet diagnosed as shipping cough.
So he immediately went into a 2 week quarantine (we had no other horses, but I had a friend to trail ride with). The first time I rode him off our property I came home with blisters from holding him back. He was high spirited and loved to run. But he was /safe/. I had no experience what so ever aside from pony rides before that, but I rode that gelding 100's of miles before I passed him on to another beginner. He taught me how to barrel race (we actually learned together), and did everything from riding trails to playdays to chasing cows. Looking back, I would have never sold him now for his weight in gold.
My dad paid $900 for him. He was grade and his name was "Rufus", later to become Rebel (everyone said he looked like a civil war general's horse).
The youngest kid broke horse I've ever trusted just turned 6, and she's absolutely amazing. She belongs to my riding partner and sadly she may be retired this year due to an unknown injury. (Why is it always the best ones??)