"He said I may not like the horse when I am done with him."
I can understand why a trainer might say that. Being out here in VA, off-track race horse rescues are a dime-a-dozen. Poorly qualified people (not saying you are in this category) are always taking them in, in poor condition, docile, weak, out of the goodness of their hearts, then finding out after several months of feeding and work, that they just can't handle the horse, regardless of training. If the trainer is your friend, he/she is simply trying to brace you for what could happen, since you are inexperienced. This is a young horse and you are going to run into young horse stuff with him, particularly after he's back to full health. I can tell by your comments that you would be more comfortable with an older, solid-broke, horse than a young buck. What your trainer told you is not so much a reference to how the horse might turn out after training, as it is to your being able to handle and work with a young, energetic, "teenager" of a horse once it is healthy and trained.
Second point to think about is your attachment to this particular horse. Horses are different than, say, a stray dog or cat you might take in. Horses can really hurt you, accidentally or on purpose. People sometimes become so emotionally attached to a horse that they put their own safety at risk. Those kind of people end up keeping bad horses, or horses they can't handle, simply because of emotional attachment, and end up with an unhappy experience for both the horse and owner, and both will be unhappy as long as that relationship exists.
Horses are not like children, that you have to keep no matter what. Once you have sold, passed-off, or otherwise gotten rid of a bad horse, the guilt feelings will simply disappear the first time you step up onto your next "good" horse. Poof! They're gone. And your feelings for a horse that's "right" for you will be immeasurably greater than for one you can't handle.
If you really want to enjoy horses and your relationship with them, remember a simple rule: "There are too many good horses out there to keep a bad one." This is something I have struggled with over the years. I am one who tends to get emotionally attached to my animals. I learned the above rule from a very old cowboy. I have tried to incorporate it into my psyche. It's hard.
Third point that comes to mind is that I completely agree with CowboyBob. Despite what a lot of people say, perfectly good riding horses have been broke and trained by people who have no more knowledge or experience than yourself. It's not going to be a show horse, because you are not a show trainer, but you can learn to teach the horse what you need it to know, if you are willing to learn.
Fourth thing is...where are you? I'm in Stafford, VA. If you are close, I'm more than willing to help.
Last edited by thenrie; 03-01-2013 at 09:35 AM.