ok...it's like this thread was made for me. I started riding again in my late 40s and joined a barn. My "friends" started pressuring me to buy a horse. I always wanted my own but thought I would take refresher lessons for a year or two first. I pictured looking for a calm, steady-eddy horse for low level dressage and trails.
Well, the owner said she had a friend who had a wonderful purebred Arab that had a junior show record (western pleasure) and I should take a look.....wait for it....."They would look out for me!" "Any horse can do trails and dressage is just ring work and he does that" "Riding him in a high wall closed round pen is all you need" "The friend took him out to ride and that shows you." "The horse will teach you everything you need to know"
Long story short, I put aside my own judgment and listened to those who said they knew and now own the horse. He is a wonderful horse but just too much for me. He is not forgiving as he is use to experienced riders only. He's goofy and attention grabbing, showy, and very, very smart. Which means he knows how much you really know.
Needless to say I soon left that barn and moved to a trainer who basically worked him for a year. Not for him, but to give me the time I needed to beef up my skills on a lesson horse. He is wonderful with the trainer, working on flying lead changes, etc.
I do see him almost every day, we do groundwork, and have recently started riding him while leaving him in training. I can ride him in the arena but he needs you to focus on him all the time and really be correct in your riding. He seems to know when my mind wanders even just slightly and I'm not paying attention to my riding. He needs to be ridden and worked every day. He needs, and is happy, when he has a job. He's 11.
Basically he's still above my skill level. I love taking lessons (3x a week) and learning classical dressage, and will continue the rest of my life, but really don't see me competing. It will also take a couple more years before I can even approach riding at the level my horse needs me to be at. To be honest, I'm not sure I want the pressure either. I already have a demanding job.
Bottom line. Do I stick it out? If I don't, how do I find him a good home? Money isn't the issue....I'm more worried about finding an experienced rider that will understand him.
I do care for him a great deal and have seen too many riders who "say" they are experienced riders...or are...but don't know the costs involved, or have the money, or time, to keep a horse like him. I also see a lot of younger riders who lose interest, or lack time, once they hit high school or college. All would be a prison for a horse like mine.
So glad to see this thread and that you have a good head. Our first barn for James was next to a Arab breeder. This is JMHO, a first time horse owner should avoid the Hotbloods - TB, Arab, etc unless the horse is well trained, older, preferrably a gelding. I love to LOOK at TBs, but would never own one. Because Im older and DD is younger.
Everyone at our barn was ranting that James a Registered 9 year old Paint was too much for DD, and she was 9. For the previous owner he was a handful, bucking, rolling, rearing, stalling, biting. I ground trained him with her, and she started slow with just lunging him, and being ew/ him everyday. Within 6 months hes like a big dog. He still hates aggressive men. He threw me onetime, that was my fault. He is now retired and our colt just turned two.
We bought 2 acres and since then he very mellow. They take time, money, and alot of love. And like humans- sometimes its not a good match.