ONE MORE THING---I M P O R T A N T!!! Ask the OWNER
to show off the horse by handling, grooming, picking feet, loading/unloading in a trailer, riding in an arena, riding OUTSIDE of an arena, and any special training.
Don't be in ANY hurry to get on yourself!!!!!!!
My friend was horse shopping and got on a gelding that was "cinchy", according to the owner. She threw out her back when she got bucked off, and it took years to recover. On the other side,
when I bought "Tyke" (1970-1998, RIP), he was a 15yo kid's horse who had ponied TB's on the track--found this out later, when all his previous owners came out the woodwork to come by and ride him--he was a perfect gentleman, and he became my DH's favorite horse.
This is where you want your horsey friend to help you keep your EMOTIONS in check. Your friend should be looking at the feet when you are looking at the "pretty" head, watching the tenseness when you see "animation and spirit", or telling you when you are looking at a good guy, too.
Don't worry at ALL if you want to drive home and think about it. Even IF someone else buys the horse that you didn't buy on the spot, there are MANY others available.
You don't want to think that your trip was wasted simply bc you couldn't ascertain the suitability of a horse from pictures, videos and talking to the owner. Just think of any trips as "adventures" or small vacations. You wouldn't buy a car on the spot, so why a horse?
Many of us here on HF have been horse owners for many years. I have owned horses for almost 28 years straight, and I currently keep 3 horses on my 5 acres, and in the back yard. Do NOT think you are a poor horse owner if you decide to board.
If you get really impatient, I might suggest that you contact CHERIE, bc she might have something for sale. I would take a horse from her in a heartbeat. There are others here, too, but I feel a kinship for her, so I'm prejudiced.