What to look for when purchasing a 2 year old?
I'm looking to purchase a 2-3 year old in the next month or so. I have purchased mature/trained horses before, but never a youngster. I am preferring to train/back the horse myself so I'm not worried about if they're good with clippers, bathing, etc. I am planning to train the horse to be an English pleasure horse, jumping if they're suitable for it. I'm not concerned about breed, registration or color. I am mainly looking for a sound, well tempered horse that I can work with and would keep forever (not looking to flip horse). I'm also not looking to pay a lot ($500 max), so I don't expect to find a perfect horse for that price, just a good fit for me. I also have no interest in showing, just pleasure riding.
These are the things I am planning to look for, please revise or add anything you think I'm missing.
-conformation: I was in 4-H so I know the basics for conformation (planning to watch the horse walk/trot away and to me to watch feet movement, and also standing conformation on leg/feet correctness)
-soundness: planning to watch the horse move through their gaits and watch for any favouring or bobbing of head (I know this will be unpopular, but because I'm just looking for a generic riding partner and am not paying very much, I am not planning to have a pre-purchase vet check. I've actually never had a vet check done on any of my 4 previous horses and had no issues, I think it also makes a difference that I don't plan to show or ride intensely)
-check how they move off pressure
-see if they load in trailer
-check if head shy or nervous around certain areas
-contact trainer/farrier/vet (with permission) if applicable
-general temperament (shy/curious, fidgety/standing quietly, low/high set head, alert but not tense)
-flexiom test??? never heard of this until recently, is this something that should be done?
Those are the things I checked on every other horse I've purchased and also rode them, but with a youngster I can't think of anything else to add at the moment. If you have anything to add please let me know!