Meet horse number one. She is a 4 year old Canadian Sport Horse by Xavier K and out of Mt Vesuvius (by Lorbas). She has a lot of Hanoverian blood and also Holsteiner and her grand-dam was a TB. 

I went to see her last week and had a good ride. She is quite green (I’d be worried if she wasn’t at her age) but so willing. She has a great temperament and doesn’t get fussed about very much. There was another woman there to try her and she comes from a dressage background. She rode after me and really tried to force Lexie into a frame and although the poor horse was confused as hell (“I don’t know where you want me to go!”) she tried very hard to figure it out. 
Personally, I don’t see what you are going to accomplish with that in one test ride, other than learning how the horse deals with stuff that makes no sense to it yet. I let her choose her frame with only light contact so I could see how she moves naturally. That tells me more about what I have to work with (or work against) and I’m not about to teach her to work on the bit in one short ride. But that’s just me. Regardless, I did get to see how she responded and she was great. She popped her front legs up a bit a couple times, not really a rear and you could tell she didn’t want to, it was an honest attempt to find an answer to such a strong hold on her face while being driven forward with the leg.
In any case, I didn’t get any of that behavior. Not to say I rode her all that well. As you will see, I let my reins be a little too floppy in the beginning and my stirrups were WAY too short.  While I do have a secret love for shorter-than-they-should-be stirrups, these were so short my ankles hurt and I’m in a chair position!   

So basically I will ask that you be kind in terms of my riding. Since February, I have ridden 3 horses other than my headshaking Willy, 2 of them in the last 2 weeks and all of them only once each. So I’m rusty.  Other than that, I think the ride was good. I’ve cut out the walking and a good bit of the trot, figures etc., so that the video loads sometime this week.

Like a lot of young horses, she wants to take off really long, even before the tiniest cross rail. I saw her doing this repeatedly with the young rider who was on her before me. So I asked her to wait. I was happy with the response I got – she waited without fuss and although that meant the stride was off and awkward, the next time around she did much better. 

She has some funny movement in her hind legs. The more I watch it, the less weird it seems but it's still unusual. I watched her dam move in her paddock and she is the same, though neither have any obvious conformational issues.  

I went to a schooling show to watch her go and she did very well, in attitude and placings. It was her first time at a show and she wasn't bothered at all. She really does have a great temperament. And she did well despite a rough start to the day when the horse she was trailering with spazzed out, which of course made her spazz out. Apparently she got on the trailer fine at the end of the day - they made sure to give her a "rock" partner. 

My coach, V, came to see her today and while she thinks I'm on the right track, she thinks Lexie is a horse we could definitely work with but suggests I play the field. She thinks I can probably do better, especially given the market.  So I get to keep shopping and keep her in my back pocket. Lexie's owner said she would let us know if she has any offers in the next few weeks, so she won't disappear from under me, either.

Horse #2
A chestnut thoroughbred gelding, 15.3, 9 years old. Has been showing Silver hunters with success. His price is outstanding for how well schooled he is. I should be more excited about the possibility of getting a horse this well trained for such a good price but I'm a bit ho-hum about him.
First, I think he might be a bit too well trained. I loved the feeling of bringing Brumby and Willy along and seeing our progress. This horse would be point and jump and while that would be fun for awhile and I could work on my riding, I think I would get a little bored. Plus, scoff all you want, but I want something that I find pretty to look at. If I'm shelling out the money, I figure it's fair that I get to be somewhat picky. To each his own, my coach would love his face with the wide blaze and two high socks (above the knee) on one side. Me? Meh. But I will go ga-ga over a plain bay *shrug*

Horse #3
Now, if ever there was a horse of my dreams, this one could be it. Another gelding (yay, I found some geldings!), he is a 3yo warmblood (need some details here), stands 17hh (a little taller than I'd like but probably better suited for me than 15.3hh) and is a dark buckskin. He's started and going w/t/c and has hacked out alone. I am SO excited about this one. When I first saw his ad months ago he was out of my price range. Not by a lot, but enough that I didn't want to see him and fall in love and then have to explain to my husband that I re-mortgaged the house or something ;-) But nothing is selling these days so he's come down a LOT. I'm very excited to see this guy. I will of course still base my decision on practical matters but if he works out I will be thrilled as I've always dreamed of having a buckskin. Well, ever since riding through Vermont for their bi-centenial and the son of my outfitter had the cutest buckskin horse.

I have a few more in the works as well, so I think I'm doing ok so far in terms of finding prospects. I am now mostly excited to be going through this process for the first time. I'm a little scared to be buying something "cold" but hey, leasing first didn't help me, so maybe taking reasonable care (vet check etc) but otherwise just going for it will work out better for me!