It sounds like the owner may be making a good decision. I didn't know how to ride when I bought my first horse. She was advertised as "perfect for a beginner". I had done a little riding 30 years earlier, so how hard could it be? Just buy a horse that was perfect for a beginner, and learn...
Well, lesson #1 was that people lie. Perhaps their refusal to let me lead her from the ground, and only ride her in a 'round pen' that was about 35' across, should have been a red flag.
What I wanted was a calm, been-there, done-that kind of horse. Instead, I had a spooky, fearful horse who would bolt and squirt diarrhea out the back in fear. But I liked her, and she seemed to like me, and we're still together after 5+ years...but I also have a nagging back injury that bothers me 4.5 years later, and I ride in a defensive mode because I've needed to do so. Some of my many faults as a rider are due to the bolts and countless sideways jumps that have occurred on my favorite horse.
In some ways, it has been good. She has taught me things a mellow horse would never have taught me. And her personality has caught my interest in ways a calmer horse would not have done. I ride her often enough for no better reason than I enjoy her company. But to be honest, there are days I would LOVE to get on a calm, relaxed horse and just go out for an easy ride.
The professional trainer I hired (who did wonders with Mia) said Mia will never be an easy horse. She said Mia is one of those horses who view every ride as an adventure. The plus side is that she puts a lot of effort into each ride. The minus is that she expects her rider to put a lot of effort into each ride...
No one else in my family wants
to ride her. Except for my daughter-in-law, they have all ridden her, and none of them liked it. She didn't buck, throw a fit or do anything wrong
, but they felt like they couldn't relax. They couldn't drop the stirrups and enjoy the scenery because Mia isn't that type of horse. They would sell her in a moment. And for them, that would be the right decision. Recreational riding should be fun - but people have differing ideas about what is fun.
The picture below illustrates 2 types of horses, and 2 types of riders. Neither is 'wrong', but the rider on the right would never be happy riding the horse on the left: