Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: On my horse's back! Obviously!
I would suggest a lease horse. Lease to buy could also be a good one for you. That way, you still have time to decide if you really want to do things with horses (after dealing with their fantastic ability to take our money... haha). The horse should be willing, and as others have said, be fit to YOU. Take time to get to know the horse BEFORE taking him/her home.
Find a good trainer that can work with you for lessons and such and take them horse shopping with you. I would also recommend a vet check, but I guess it really depends on what you are doing. For example, if you are getting trail buddy, a vet check wouldn't be at the top of the list like it would be if you were buying an eventer.
Don't settle with the first horse you lay your eyes on, look at many horses before you decide. In the end, if you've looked at 4 or 5 horses, and a picking one even though it doesn't seem right for you, KEEP LOOKING. It's a buyers market, plenty of horses are for sale, so DON'T SETTLE just keep your eyes peeled and you'll find the perfect horse for you!
Most importantly have fun! Horses are such a joy and I'm happy that you've decided that you want to join the party! Good luck!