That's a very good question !!
I would say that the first thing to do is try to surround yourself with some riders, merchants or breeders so that when you want to buy you have in front of either people of trust, in order to find the pearl rare. I think there are many good horses in all regions. Just find the right horse for you! It’s true this stage is well before the purchase of a horse :)
After all, it depends on what perspective one is. That is to say, what kind of horse do you want to have, to compete or just stroll .... If you are looking for a horse for a less experienced rider I would go more easily to a horse with potential but especially docile, nice and practical. It may be less important for an experienced rider, who is able to improve the technique of his horse (knowing that horses with high potential often have character). When you buy a horse you need 2 people with either a friend of the equestrian background who accompanies you (and if you do not know very well it is necessary that this friend knows very well horses) AND a veterinarian to have Professional and medical advice and be able to do the exams before the purchase. One of the first things I look at before checking the limbs, column and gaits; I look at how the horse is: whether it’s nervous, whether it’s happy in the place where it is, whether it breathes well, whether it comes to me out of curiosity or simply from gluttony, if it’s respectful, if it looks at me when I call it, if it’s expressive. These little things forge the character of a horse and the character is very important to me !!
Once this step passes, I let the veterinarian do his work, then we look (to 3) the paces, the plumbs. The fact of having 3 people, it makes 6 eyes that observe a horse and each person is not going to see the same thing !! Often when you're going to buy, you're so glad it's hard enough to have a subjective judgment.
I hope this helps :) Have a good day !!
You always want to look for a horse that you fit well with; a horse that you can bond with. Make sure the horse is healthy, and passes all vet checks before you purchase. Buy a horse that fit your goals; a horse that you can grow with, learn, and develop together.
I hope this helps (:
Also if it's a mare, make sure she's not in early stages of carrying a foal. I bought my mare, being told she wasn't pregnant but she gave birth like less than 2 months later
Besides a good confirmation, mannerism is important. How they load, lead, ride are important. Also how are they in a stable, tied up & so on