Remember that the search is on, and just as a refresher, my "basic" criteria (deal breakers/makers for me--not that these issues are relevant to THIS horse, per se, but just to give the overall "picture" to everyone!) include the following:
1) Gelding MUCH preferred to a mare.
2) As "experienced" a horse as possible to match my relative "inexperience" despite a lifetime essentially, of riding!
3) No younger than five, with seven at least being optimal on the lower age end, and, preferably into his teens age-wise.
4) No health issues which will require a level of understanding of horse-ownership that I am currently not yet prepared to/able to take on (though of course, I am well aware that at any moment, health can change! I am most absoluely prepared to "learn fast"! I just prefer not to have a health problem straight out of the gate if it can at all be avoided...
5) I ride English, but do not intend to show, and though I prefer to ride in an english saddle, I would be open to learning western riding styles/cuing if said horse was not (yet) trained to cue to English, reining, etc...as far as riding, my plan involves doing lots of trail riding, some light, possibly moderate (eventually) endurance, and possibly some jumping...mostly "eventing"-style jumping, rather than arena jumping...
I am 5'1" and about 140#, so any horse size essentially should "fit" for the most part. I LOVE drafts, but they are quite uncommon in these parts and with their larger size and thus requiring larger everything, I realize that a draft breed is a type of horse that I may have to wait for down the line or when I am living elsewhere in the country in the next two to three years!
I will call the owner tonight and set up a "meet and get to know you" with this beautiful boy for ASAP...just hoping that some of you who have been following this process with me over the past few months will ring in with opinions/conformational advice, any thoughts at all!
He is really, really a horse "type" I am partial to, which I am trying not to think about...humm dee dumm....nope, not getting suckered in by this ( gorgeous) boy!! *I apprenticed with a large Arabian breeding/show/sale farm as a 17 year old, so of ALL the breeds, the one I am most knowledgable about would be the Arab...As well, my endurance needs would be well served with a boy like this...!
I know, ONCE AGAIN, I ABSOLUTELY already sound smitten. Thus, tell me ALL the negatives y'all can, because I cannot "afford" (emotionally/etc...) to make a terrible mistake at this point in my life!
Thanks SO MUCH you guys! Arghh...I don't know what I'd do without all of you to "bounce" these horses off of!! Thanks a million again!!!