Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
I didn't read all the replies, but I have to agree with beverlyy.
There are a few things that seem a bit odd to me about this story, and I think the horse needs a bit of a closer look rather than say "he's got your number", "he just needs some hard riding", "he just doesn't respect you", "he's young", "he's feeling the springtime" or "sell him".
First, he did not pick up the right lead when you test rode him. Might not be a big deal, but might be a pain issue too. Did you get a PPE done? Is he sound? Not picking up the right lead CAN just be a balance issue, but it can also be due to the horse not wanting to carry weight on the inside hind. Hind leg lameness is not always as obvious as front leg lameness.
Second, your instructor thinks you should send him to a trainer rather than getting on herself, and when she did, she didn't canter him. I'm not sure how experienced your instructor is, but that kind of made me think she might either be scared or not experienced enough to handle a problem like this. I think as a first measure, I'd rather change my instructor than sell my horse...
So my course of action before selling would be get him checked out by a vet and see where he's at health-wise. Then talk to a trainer/instructor that is experienced and will actually get on the horse and get a second opinion. Be careful with your choice of trainer though - there are enough people who call themselves horse trainers and are actually pretty useless. Find someone who comes recommended and at least has insurance.
When he vets sound and a trainer has taken a good look at him, you can still decide whether you want to sell him.
That being said, I was in a very similar spot as you five years ago. Bought my horse in May, got bucked off and broke my hand in August, got bucked off a couple more times and was scared to do anything with him after that. I had him checked by a vet and chiro (he was completely sound), found my trainer and worked with her through the problems we had. I still have both the horse and the trainer, and have no problems anymore. So yes, it worked out for us.