I was planning on taking the advice of some of the posters here, and leasing a horse at the stable, then maybe being ready to buy one in a few years... but I just kept getting "hints" that there was a horse out there for me that I needed to get *now*. I was looking around, and on craigslist of all places, I found my stunning Lipizzan gelding. My trainer said she would go with me to make sure I didn't get ripped off or get the complete wrong horse for me. She kept pulling ponies out of their stalls and saying "This is what 14'2 looks like, are you really wanting a horse this size?" and of course reminding me that "you really need a good warmblood to do dressage". I couldn't explain it, especially since I am very aware of how new I am to all of this, but this horse just felt like fate!
Oh BTW I named him Maximas after the horse in Tangled.
We got to the place that has been keeping him, and he came right up to me and nuzzled my hand. My trainer did all the horse buying stuff. I could tell she was really impressed, and it takes a LOT to impress her. After awhile, when she had me alone from the people, she said "you need to buy this horse today, right now!" She negotiated the price down considerably for me, and got the people to deliver him to the stable too!
As soon as we were back in the car she said "I didn't want to tell you out there because we were negotiating, but he is an amazing mover! We need to find me a big horse that moves like that."
His story is ... he was bought as a yearling, then at 3 his owner took him to a local trainer who was just rough. There's a video of the trainer working him on youtube and he's jerking him around and the poor horse can't get balanced or anything. The trainer ended up making his owner feel like she couldn't ride him. So he ended up as a companion horse. (which is probably better because he's a Lipizzaner and they mature later). The lady I got him from does Natural Horsemanship, and her trainer told her about this horse and how it would be a good project horse. So she's been doing Natural Horsemanship with him since December. She loves him (you can tell!) but she does trail rides, and he has a dancy prancy trot that she says she couldn't get used to so she couldn't keep him as her mount. Plus she said she can tell he is meant to be a dressage show horse and she wants to see him grow into his potential. He's so comfortable and calm now (I hope! I mean, I know people drug horses to sell them but I hope!)
He's getting delivered to my stable today. I have a two week trial period on him. We're having the vet do a full vet on him this week, xrays and whatnot. He's only 6 and my trainer says he looks very sound. She has been doing horses for EVER so I am very confident this situation. He's going to be fully boarded a stall over from the tack room(so constantly cared for and watched by expert horse people, with daily turnout), and I am getting him health insurance, and we are going to move at whatever pace is right for both of us under my trainer's supervision. I really wasn't thinking I was going to get a horse this soon but I have the resources and the people around me to make this a good fit for me and my new stunning Lipizzan gelding Maximas.
This picture in my avatar is right when I bought him. He looked pretty miffed about the western gear. He'll be much happier at my English stable with his own proper saddle.