My wife & daughter REALLY wanted horses. I fought them all the way. Finally gave in, and...I do about 80% of the riding. When my daughter leaves home in a few years, that will go to about 98%.
I don't know what his personality is like, but lots of guys do better with a challenge. You don't want a mean, malicious horse who looks for chances to throw its rider, but you also don't want some deadhead who just moseys along the trail.
The picture below is of my daughter & I riding Mia & Trooper. My daughter adores Trooper, and usually refuses to ride any other horse. But Mia is the horse that got me interested in riding, because even a ride in a small arena is like this:
She was completely unsuitable for a beginner, regardless of what I was told - and anyone experienced with horses would have spotted it immediately. But if you want me to value a horse above a dirt bike, you need to give me a horse with some personality. I don't go for a ride. Ever. "Mia & I" go for a ride. And if I forget, Mia will remind me!
Recreational riding is about fun. If I were taking up riding, I would care about;
1 - Healthy. Not perfect conformation, but a horse who won't break down tomorrow from something you can see today.
2 - Personality. A horse that never looks back at me, rolls her (probably her) eyes and says, "You want WHAT? Men! THFFFTTTT!" won't do much for me.
I'd look at some basic lessons - maybe a dozen - on a lesson horse. If he's like me, he won't listen all that well, but it will give him some basics. Maybe I'm just a jerk, but I think a lot of guys get turned off by too many lessons and too many rules. Lots of us only learn by doing.
Just some random thoughts. I was 50 when I started, so I may have been more risk adverse than some...but I would have lost interest fast with too many lessons and too much well meaning advice. The only one who has taught me much is my mare, and even she has to shout sometimes!