Originally Posted by Maryland Rider
1. Is it unrealistic to try to find a horse that doesn't buck or rear?
I think you can find a horse without buck or rear.
I have 3 as such and still own them.
1 is a registered QH came from a Wisconsin ranch and is trained for western pleasure. $1900.00
Anyone can ride her, in the first 5 seconds on she knows what you are about.
When I hop on she knows to deliver.
1 is a 2x registered racker walker TWH gelding puchased with minimal trail riding $500.00
After two riding seasons that were calm and extremely fun I turned him over to my daughter, 13.
1 is a halfy cross purchased from craigs list $300.00
Tries to lay in the water sometimes but was safe for my daughter to learn on.
These horses were purchased from people I could trust.
They were not just trying to unload the animal.
Most horse dealers could be your worst enemy though.
A great horse can be found with out deep pockets.
The horse I ride is another topic, I like the forward behavior.
I cannot allow others to ride him.
2. Are there any give aways when shopping that will tell if the horse does these things?
I agree with other postings here.
When you visit you tack up the horse and let owner ride it first.
This may take more than one visit if possible.
Thanks for your advice! It is relieving to know that these types of horse ARE out there (and do not always cost a lot)....I just have to be careful in my search. I have read a lot of ideas and advice and I am going to make a list of my requirements that I want in my next horse and stick to it with no compromises. I think that will be the key. Also, test riding more than once (if possible), tacking up on my own and making sure to take the horse away from the barn and his buddies are all ideas I am going to employ for this and all future searches.
It just starts to get a bit frustrating, especially when you get it wrong the first time. But finding a new horse can be a long process. I just need to get out of the mindset of immediate gratification.
Thanks for everyone's help!!!