I have gone through all of this I read here and am still going through it now.
I bought my first full sized horse 2yrs ago because I felt terrible for her. She was in bad shape and the other horses at the sale lot had just trampled and killed her newborn foal. My Mom and rescuer instincts took over and left my better sense in the dust. The lot owner lied up and down about her age, experience, etc. to make the sale.
Long story short I got her in good condition physically but lacked the experience to engage her mentally. My riding experience has consisted of rented trail horses in my younger days. I am now 48 and had not ridden in about 15 years at that point and never actually owned a horse myself. I thought I was doing okay but.... on our first ride I was promptly thrown and hurt. I had also been very badly injured on a rented trail horse when I was 11. A horse I trusted but was put in a compromised situation and freaked. I was Hospitalized with permanent injuries. This has shaken me to the core and I am sure the green horse I bought 2yrs ago knew it. She had no confidence in me as a leader so she became frightened, unruly and unloaded me. Took me 3 months to recover from my injuries. I sold her to a local trainer. I have been terrified to ride since and that was 2 years ago. Nov 2012 I bought a Haffie pony who I was told was safe for a timid rider. 13HH (not as far to fall if unloaded) LOL Was told he was 9 and well broke. He was actually barely 5 and barely green broke and like to buck and bolt was the truth. He bucked my daughter face first into a tree. I sold him to a Haffie nut with an apparent death wish.
So I found wonderful horses for my daughter and husband. (it should work for somebody right?) The 13yr old Quarab mare I bought for hubby (experienced rider) turned out to be prego unbeknownst to the seller. Now we have a 4 month old appy colt to add to the mix.
My daughter rides a 13yr old POA gelding with a slight attitude to match her own... ha! They are a good match and adore each other.
I have ridden for a few minutes recently my husband's horse who is a high strung(ish) Arab cross who wants to go go go. This makes me very nervous and I have a difficult time controlling her. (no buck-she just know she can pull crap with me)
Now in my quest to get over myself and find a horse for me I have leased an 8yr old quarter walker (gaited) mare who is slow and seems very gentle. I only had an opportunity to ride her in a small ring where I got her. She was mild mannered, lowered her head for the bridle, stood still for the mount and had super breaks in only a hackamore. I felt a connection with her and her spirit was gentle and forgiving in nature. I waived my arms around her, I threw rocks over her and nothing. Very steady and sure. Now I KNOW that when I get a horse home there will be a honeymoon period and I may see a different horse. Her name is Willow and I have had her two weeks now. Now at home we have observed she is still dead last on the pecking order as she was in her previous home. This is good because we worried about a new horse picking on our horses, especially the baby. She is wonderful with them but.... yes there are always a but. She is herd bound to a dangerous level. She lacks confidence and is why she is last in the pecking order. (double edged sword) I am doing forced separation now so she will build confidence in me and in herself. We are also weaning the 4 month old colt so I am following a similar pattern. Just did not bargain for this and have now called in a trainer since I am so limited in my own abilities and confidence. I DON'T want to rub my fear off on her. I have to put on my big girl panties and deal with her. Has anyone gotten an otherwise solid horse out of herd bound behavior? I am tired of giving up and want to see if I am make this work. I am on a 4 month lease before I commit to buy. Would love friendly advice.