Quote:them, they aren't suitable). So, I'm left to conclude that either people hang onto their good Geldings and won't let them go (thus the lack of candidates), or the mares simply make better trail horses (just kidding ) , or people are trying to unload their somewhat broke brood mares as trail horses...... Sigh. Just getting weary of the hunt. "Try looking for a cattle ranch horse, one that's been worked for several years on the ranch."
You are right about what is for sale. Private owners with multiple horses always keep their best horse and sell the one that they don't care for as much. It doesn't mean that the horse for sale is a bad horse, just NOT their favorite.
For a Beginner, you want the very best horse that is:
1) Sound Body
2) Sound Mind
3) Good Attitude
EVERYTHING ELSE is acceptable, including breed, color and Specific Training. A Good trainer can take a barrel racer and retrain that.
Take your trainer with you and don't Settle. ALL of us here--I have owned/trained for 30 years--GROAN when I need to go horse shopping, because we know ahead of time that it is a chore.
Think of this as, "I have to buy used because I cannot buy NEW...like a car." Now, you are looking at the fewest problems and the best buy for your money. Many of us can buy a diamond in the rough and make a diamond out of that horse. You will be frustrated if YOU try to do that.
Cheer up! We have all been there. =D