So my question is.. what do y'all find exceptable in an inexpensive "project" horse. My show horse is wonderful... but boring! We battle the same ol' problems and work on them in lessons. I now have the time for another horse and found an affordable one. On first impression, has manners, about a 7 out of 10 trot, 9 on canter rhythem and the fences dont phase him enough, ( is round in his back not great with his neck).. oh yea he's 5 and very green.. but bonus points for having his changes. To me, since I want a hunter the canter & jump are most important.. he seems to have the canter do you think the jump will improve with training and height? ( ps .. no I haven't vetted him yet, I'm trying to justify spending the $ and how far to go with it)
Anything, really aslong as the horse is sound, and of a decent age we'll take it and retrain it. We've bought anything from the broodmare that was a large pony height and very fancy mover (totally unkown when her belly was always full of babies) to the cowboys paint (that know shows at world shows) and the thoroughbred that has been tossed around (that will make a very competitive childrens/am. jumper once finished) We tend to look in the $1,000 and under range though, and amazing can find great horses that just need some time.
Well, first and foremost, you want SOUND obviously..
It sounds like he was decent movement and a good jump. You have plenty of time to finesse his jumping abilities. Given the time and correct training hopefully your possible project horse will learn to use himself more, specifically through his neck and front end which you mentioned. Therefore, I wouldn't worry too too much about his jumping abilities right now, as long as his conformation is correct. The fact that he has a confirmed lead change is a super bonus!!!
Also, do you plan to sell this project horse down the road? If so, you may want to consider any vices he currently has so your not stuck with an extra horse that very few will buy in the end.
If the project is for resale, the only things you should want to live with are the things you can fix during the project - experience for a horse with no show mileage, gymnastics to fix a sloppy jumping style, putting manners on a good-natured horse who just hasn't ever been asked to have manners.
When you compromise for the sake of the cost to buy into the project, what you are really compromising is the $$$ & interest you might get when trying to sell the project.
When you go to sell, the last thing you want to have to say is, "He's great except he ___________________" (fill in the blank with "has bone chips in his left knee" "is a cribber" "should only do flat work" "is a 15.1 hand chestnut mare with a temper")
If there's a track near you, you should be able to find a big 2 or 3 y.o. gelding who doesn't want to be a race horse, that the trainer wants out of his stalls so he can fill them with something that might earn some money.
Or a young warmblood whose breeder suddenly realizes he/she can't support the youngster forever & doesn't have the money to put into training.
Or a quarter horse who isn't "slow legged" enough for pleasure classes (in fact, if you approach a QH trainer to look for a project, that's a phrase you can actually use to find one that is too forward for their purposes).
But don't compromise on the basics that people want - size, temperament, movement.
Thanks guys.... I always need to be reminded of the "bigger picture" when I get an idea in my head!... on video his left hind his suspect,, but without sitting on him it's hard to differentiate if it's a lameness or a lack of fitness laziness. Let you know what happens