DO NOT BUY YOUR FIRST HORSE LONG DISTANCE
Buying long distance CAN work really really well, and if you are looking for certain bloodlines for breeding, or a top class competition horse, then you often have to buy long distance, but it is not easy.
For a first horse, an 'at home' horse, there are so many things that make a difference you really really need to meet, ride, handle purchases first. You also need to have your trainer with you to pour buckets of cold water on and romantic fantasies you may have that you have developed a mythical bond with the fire breathing dragon that is currently trying to kick the snot out of his stall.
I know how you feel, the horses that I like are always miles away, like the other side of the continent, it is just the way life is. Once you put the word out that you are shopping it is amazing how many nice horses are available in your area. If you are really lucky, like me, my trainer was contacted to see if she knew anyone who would be looking for a horse like they were selling, trainer thought of me, I bought him, smartest purchase I ever made, right on my back door step.
“Never attribute to malice that which can be attributed to stupidity”