Selling your first horse? Advice needed.
Lately I've been considering finding a new home for my gelding. He's a good horse, and I don't give him as much credit as I should, but we had a rocky start and I just don't have the confidence with him that I have with my other horses. He was my first horse, and he was only three when I got him, and I was only ten. Had enough rough falls to shake me up a bit, but in hindsight none of them were really his fault. He had training gaps, saddle fit issues, teeth issues, and was being ridden by a scared 10 year old - biggest issue.
He's a great horse, very smart, lots of stamina, but his training isn't as far as a horse that is nearing ten years old should be. I took lessons on him at a NH barn for about three years, and took lessons on him for a few years at another barn prior. He is a very talented horse, and I feel like I owe him more than what he is getting. I go out in pasture and grab the easier horses. Not that he is terribly difficult, I just remember the bad years where he was in pain and didn't want me on him. But this year, the handful of times I've ridden him, he's been a doll. One of the first few times I had him out, I ponied a foal he just met off of him for about a mile to bring them to pasture. He was great, even though miss filly was being a dork and we had to drag her some of the way. He is a push button horse, not a dead head, but I want to find him a home that will give him what he needs. I took him out another time and he stepped on a hot wire that shocked his foot, jumped forward maybe 10 feet, but other than being a little shook up was still responsive and did not keep running. He isn't a huge spooker, either, and is super surefooted on the trail.
I have never sold a horse before, and I just don't know where to start, really. I wouldn't feel comfortable selling him to a beginner, but he isn't green as grass any more. If I put for intermediate riders, would that send up red flags? My problem is, I want to sell him, but I want to know that he is going to the perfect home. I don't want someone looking for a horse to turn over and sell irresponsibly. Is there any sort of contract I can sell him under or should I just be very picky as to who I sell to? I would love any and all advice I could get. I really love this horse, and knowing that I always want what is best for him. He LIKES being ridden and being active, but to be ridden harshly would truly be a detriment to his training and I don't know if he could take it without taking a turn for the worst.
Also, as far as pricing goes, I'm not sure what I should do. He is registered, tentative as a POA but got to tall. He is broke to ride, has lots of NH training on him, and with the right rider will do just about anything. He has the drive and stamina to excel in just about anything, as well. I would like to get at least a grand for him, as that is what we paid, but is he worth more? I would be willing to stay at a lower price if the home was perfect, but I don't want to give him away. It isn't all about the money, but we've put plenty in him over the years. He is UTD on shots, worming, farrier, and coggins. We've been to a few shows, enough to know that that isn't quite his scene though with a little more exposure he could do well.