i like this thread!
i think horses are definately influenced by there rider/owner, environment, and tack fitting. me and the current owner of this one horse i want to look at were actually kind of just talking about this. the saddle that was being used on the horse did not fit her correctly and caused her a little bit of pain, it would cause the horse to go around with an extremely high head set and just look uncomfortable. she got the saddle issue taken care of and now when the saddle is put on the horse still gets a bit of a higher head and is a little nervous that its still going to hurt her.
another saddle fitting story..there was a horse my friend used to have, when he was ridden in there saddle, he would be noticeably a little uncomfortable and started refusing jumps. when they put a different, better fitting saddle on him, he would go around perfectly and jump everything infront of him.
as far as owner/rider goes.. this is also a good point. i think some horses can get a little nervous or act differently with different owners and riders. this place i used to work at had this lesson pony, he was used for the kids that had a little more experience, only for walk/trot. he was veryy fast and forward and would do as he pleased when you were on him or on the ground. the owner did not tell me any of this when i first got on him, but he was an angel for me. he liked me on the ground and in the saddle for some reason. i think it was partially because i was not afraid and i knew how to properly disipline him, i would not allow him to walk all over me like he was alloud to do with the lesson kids.
in some cases i almost feel like its "destiny" i know that sounds a little cheesy, but when its right, its right and when its wrong, its wrong. you just have to trust your instinct and experience and see where it takes you. also always look at reasonable horses, you should get what you want. if you want like a dead broke quarter horse to just walk around the trails with, then thats what you get, not a high strung ottb that is perfect in the jumper ring. if you want a horse to excel with, then thats what you get. its okay to be picky..you should be. your planning on having this horse for maybe the next 20+ years! get what you want the first time around, it saves a lot of time, money, and mental stability for both you and the horse😁
my friend for example.. she does hunters. her horse is an awesome 3'3 horse, but is content doing any height. she bought him when she was just moving up to 2'6. she bought him knowing that she wanted to move up to at least 3 foot and he is the horse that can take her there. super quiet, will do whatever height she wants. she knows that they can continue doing 2'6 for the rest of his life, but when shes ready, he can definately move up and take care of her while doing so.
so the last one i didnt discuss is environment. this is 100% true. im having the biggest issue with this right now. i ride this horse for one of the boarders at my barn and he was used to doing absolutely nothing, walk and jog around for like 20 minutes and that was it. he didnt respond to your leg and never really cantered with someone on his back. now that ive been riding him we have been doing a lot more and he is now pretty spooky and always seems kind of paranoid. it just depends on what there used to doing and how they were and are being treated. i think a big part of it too is what there used to there routine being - times they get fed, go outside or is stalled, even riding times or what all goes on while there being ridden (do they walk one circle, trot for a little, canter, then jump a few jumps - or is it switched around a little? do they work on different things when there ridden? or on the ground?) i rode this horse a few times that would try to tell me when it was time to trot and canter and when it was time to be done doing these things, and when the ride was over, because thats the way he was always ridden, its what he was used to.
im kind of in the same boat as you right now too, im looking at purchasing my first horse, but im paranoid that everything is going to go wrong that could. i feel like the horse is going to hate me and try to take advantage of me. i just hope that the horse and i are a good match. im afraid that the horse is going to be too much for me, on the ground and/or in the saddle. i guess sometimes its all part of the process though, right? either you make it through the difficult times, or you dont and you move on. no matter what, whatever happends is supposed to happen and something better will come in the future.
sorry this was super long and i kinda rambled on a little bit😳