I am in my last year of undergrad in Quebec, but I am from the states. I have been riding a 10 year old Thoroughbred/Clydesdale gelding who belongs to someone at my barn, and I am possibly looking to buy him. He has done dressage and light jumping in the past, but mostly just hacks around with his owner. Last summer he was training with his owner for a 3 day event but he kicks his stall when he is getting fed (at least he used to- he doesn’t much anymore), and he ended up pulling or damaging the suspensory ligament in his back left foot (I am unsure of all of the details- these are what his owner has told me). He was off for a couple of months (I believe for most of the fall) but in November he started being ridden- walked & trotted, and I helped his owner do this by riding him several times a week.
I have ridden him about 15 times now, and will continue to ride him and eventually lesson this semester. He is a very nice, sensible, gentle horse and I really like him- we have started cantering now and he is going sound, just getting back into shape, and I hope to take jumping lessons on him as soon as he is completely back to normal. His owner is interested in selling him to me, I am interesting in having a horse when I graduate, and this is a unique horse-buying opportunity in that I am essentially getting several months worth of riding him and getting to know him while helping his owner rehabilitate him.
Since going back to work, he hasn’t had any lameness or issues at all, which seems good, but I suppose I am wondering about his overall soundness down the road. I do not intend to jump much higher than 2.6 on him ever- I am more interested in just having a good, sound horse to enjoy. I think he is a good hunter prospect- he is a very solid, hunter-y type, and I am also interested in possibly doing some light eventing on him at the 2 ft-2.6 level.
I am patient and willing to take time in making this decision, and if I buy him, I do not mind spending time schooling him over jumps and going slowly to make sure he is sound and well, but of course, ultimately I want a sound and happy horse above all else. I have sought advice from friends, and before I buy him I would of course get a vet check etc. but since he is sound and well, I suppose I am wondering how put-off I should be by this recent injury, even though he seems to be recovered. Should I just intend to ride/lesson him over the next few months and see how he goes before making this decision, or are there any other particular things I should do or be aware of before taking this next step?
Sincerely- an amateur/intermediate rider who would love to buy her first horse but doesn’t know exactly how to do that. Any and all advice welcome.