Trust me, I know (and I'm sure lots of members on here) how you feel..I'm in the process of looking for a horse (again), and will admittingly state that I thought it would be easier too. But it doesn't just happen with the snap of a finger and even though I can come across a horse I absolutely love and connect with, it never seems to work out.
I was in the process of adoption back in 2009 with a dream horse, on the ground and in the saddle. We were getting ready to put the deposit down on him at the adoption center and then they give you a week to get the horse to your choice of stable. Of course we get everything all set up for him, and wanted to do it before the deposit was put down just incase he worked out but no stable would have at the time-being (due to needing a few weeks notice before they come). I looked on the website every day to make sure he was still there out of paranoia. A few weeks later and BOOM..it says he is "on hold" on the website, aka someone else put a deposit down on him. No warning that someone else was interested and no contacting me to make sure that if I was still serious about adopting him to put the deposit down ASAP. Which we didn't do. Was I dissapointed? Yeah, for a very long time. But my mom woke me up to the fact that there is plenty of other horses out there. I just tried one out yesterday that is out of my price range by $1,500. I am praying and hoping that my instructor can talk the owners down to my budget. Because as far as I'm concerned, he's an amazing horse and honestly my dream horse: very tall (17 hands) Thoroughbred gelding.
(sorry, now I'm rambling)...
But I will say, that I do find horse hunting fun. Although a grueling and frustrating process at the same time. To feel a connection with a horse both on ground/in the saddle then find out it somehow is not going to work out at all is frustrating. When I tried the horse out yesterday my instructor said that trying to negotiate $3,000 for a $5,000 horse will be a bit hard to get. $3,500 she said is already pushing it a bit and they want closer to $4,000 for him. It's kind of annoying because he's only 3 or 4 years old and doesn't have tons of training under his belt.
Honestly if the price wasn't such a factor I would probably sign to have him tomorrow.
Just gotta be patient with it, I've learned over the years it takes time to find the perfect horse, and if it doesn't work out it probably wasn't meant to be. I wish you luck on your hunting! Keep us updated!