I'm in the market for my "first" horse.
I'm an advanced beginner/intermediate rider--I have six years of eventing experience, but it's been five or so years since I rode consistently. The understanding is there, but I freely admit that I'm still relearning good habits. Back then, I leased a QH mare, and right now I'm semi-regularly riding a Gypsy Drum gelding. Recently, I got my finances in order, took a long look at my savings, and decided that I was in a good place to seriously enter the horse market.
And by "recently," I mean "six months ago."
I admit that I have a list of things I don't want to compromise on: I'm in a medieval equestrian reenactment troupe, and I would like something that looks the part of a Viking pony. I'm short, and I want something lower to the ground, but it needs to be tall enough for me to perform on (nothing below 14hh, and I prefer under 16hh, but if I find the perfect 18.1 hand Clyde I won't turn him down). Fjords and Icelandics (and lately, Haflingers) have been getting special consideration from me, along with any draft breed or even anything that "looks" drafty. And of course, I need something suited to my experience level, and forgiving enough for me to get back into practice.
My purchase budget is actually pretty high. In this market, it could buy me a fine QH or paint, but that's just not what I want right now. There's nothing wrong with those breeds, but simply because of what I do, and because of the horses it'll be on the field with, my horse needs to stand out in a crowd.
I tell myself I shouldn't be so picky, but I know I can only afford to keep one horse right now--shouldn't it be the right one?
What have your experiences been with searching for "the Horse?" That mystical capital-H animal that captures your heart and soul and is just perfect for what you want? How long should it take? Am I limiting myself too much?
TL;DR - Horse search feels like it's taking a loooooo-hong time. How long was yours?