If owning horses was as difficult and expensive as this thread is beginning to indicate, there would be no new horse owners. It would be something you had to be born to do.
Speaking as a relative newbie...no, I didn't know anything about horses. I didn't buy the right one. I didn't set aside 10K for emergencies. I didn't start with years of lessons, riding 45-60 minutes a week until I had an incredible seat. I'm still learning, as is the unsuitable horse I bought.
Am I the only person who bought a horse and THEN learned to ride? Am I the only one who has never had a saddle fitter out to tell me what saddle to buy, and the only one whose horses don't get massages? Heck, I'm beginning to feel like running out to the corral and shouting, "Forgive me! I'm unworthy!" It is a good thing my horses don't have Internet access...
Hugs to you my dear! *None* of us do eveything perfectly! I put down my thoughts based on experiences that I have had, based on things I did right and things I wish I did differently, to put together my post. That is thirty plus years of blood, sweat, and tears, loving horses, losing them. Living with them and my fellow horse lovers. Everyone who has posted here is right in some way shape or form, including you. There is the ideal way to do anything, and then the reality.
I think myself and the other posters are giving what we would recommend in the best case scenario. Nobody is perfect at anything, especially not horses. And believe me...no horse is perfect, but there will be perfect horses for you, if you love them.
One of *my* experiences as a child, that was absolutely invaluable, was spending hours on a longe line, no stirrups, at all gaits. We could not "get our reins" until we could sit every gait, even posting, without stirrups. They were tough, but I have a very secure seat and good body position. Trust me, I have made a million mistakes with horses over the years, but that one experience, is one I wish I could give to every beginning rider. That is why I emphasized it so much in my post. I know good and well not everyone can or will do it, but if I can throw out the idea, I will.
I noticed some other posters emphasized the financial aspect. That may have been what has affected them most in their lives with horses. I did not even mention it...I am far from rich, but have been budgeting for horse stuff most of my life, and completely forgot about it!!
My hope is that newbies will read through these posts and get some good ideas, and maybe they will avoid making a mistake or two that the rest of us made. That's all