I'm hesitant to weigh in because I'm certainly no expert - but you know I just bought my second horse (sold the first). I was just looking for a horse to trail ride and who is fun and pleasant to be around. I ended up with a mare who has had good training in her past and many trail miles, and so far has been a blast to work with as I learn from her. She's laid back and calm, but responsive and knows so much more than I ever could take advantage of... but it's fun to stumble onto a new button or behavior, and then get coaching on how to 'operate it'. We're still in the 'getting to know you' phase, but so far so good. Time will tell.
Anyway, temperament first of course... but then I wouldn't sell yourself short on getting a horse who had really solid early training if possible. I almost settled on a couple, and I'm glad I was patient. Anyway, I bought my previous horse (was a very sweet tempered thing) thinking I could teach her some things or have a trainer fix 'holes' as I found them, but she was pretty spoiled and it just didn't work out in spite of $$ and effort spent.
Last edited by Folly; 02-23-2016 at 06:18 PM.