Thank you all for your replies. I've read them all and they've really helped. My last questions is, I'm going to start leasing at the start of December when my old lease is up and eventually want to do shows and everything. However, I really am not able to have a horse at any point until I'm living on my own, because of all the work involved and all the liabilities that my parents don't want to be responsible for. I completely understand this and think it's better if we just lease, at least at this point. However, do any of you lease horses and do shows with them? I just want to know basically how you picked a horse to lease and if it's hard to have a lease horse and do shows.
You've gotten a lot of great replies about Hunters vs. Jumpers, so I'll answer your leasing question.
I don't lease right now, but I leased all summer and October. I had my first honest-to-goodness show in the summer and was going to show in October, but it didn't work out.
For me, it wasn't that hard to pick my lease horse, both times.
I just chose a lesson horse at my barn. In summer, I chose Skippy- I was still fairly new to my barn and jumping seriously, and he is a fairly reliable and steady horse. However, he's not push-button. So, I chose him :).
In October, I picked Holly. She's much younger and can be a challenge to ride. However, she can jump higher when I'm ready and can go faster when I'm prepared to go the Jumper route.
It wasn't too difficult. It was a dream come true for me :).