Kissing frogs is the term we use for horse shopping. Our last two goes at finding good horses went pretty well and I think we are done for a while.
In the last year my wife had a horse that put her in the hospital on several occasions. He was unpredictable and would throw her on a whim. He needed an owner that could school him on being more polite to riders. She has since found a local horse on her first try on Dream Horse. Her horse is well trained and does everything we need him to do, calmly.
Then in failing health, I had to put my horse down last fall and I got the Beav on a one year trial, but after several months and probably a thousand dollars in vet care, we realized he would never over come his foot issues so we returned him. I then got a loaner horse which we've had for the last two or so months. He was big he could do everything, but he wasn't for sale. We had him only until we could find another horse for me.
The photo above is my new horse Kali. I have her on a one month trial. She is young, six years old, but has some good training under her, though she is still considered green which shows when she confronts a new situation like cows and culvert pipes She keeps her ears on the rider looking for cues as to what she should do.
She is a Belgian/Quarter Horse mix and she is a big girl at 16 hands. She has the enormous feet of a draft horse and they are good sound feet. The last three horses I've had had foot problems and that changes what you can do with a horse.
It takes about a year for a rider and a horse to know each other and anticipate what each is thinking. Kali learned a few things on the trail today. I got her to walk through several puddles and she didn't even look for a way around it. She did get spooked a couple times but I kept her going and she was much more relaxed at the half way point. There is a tarp beside the road that spooked her last time we rode and this time she didn't pay any attention to it at all.
Now I need to test her to see how she feels about the beach and walking in the surf. I need to get her to cross a river and go over bridges. The adventure begins, again.