Do I get along with it. No matter how good the horse is if you don’t get along you are going nowhere with it
Make sure the horse is suitable for the discipline you compete or train in. make sure it suits your riding ability. always ask about vices (things the horse does such as biting or kicking) and make sure your ok with them. the horse should be kind and docile. lastly make sure you go out to the horse and test it out several times as some people can drug horses on the first time to make it seem more chill or less crazy. hope that helps
Mainly health and if you feel it’s right for you and you are capable of training it correctly
When I bought my horse I looked for weight and conformation. I had to ride him first before I made my decision. I wasn’t looking for a horse that was super trained so I could do some of that. He had good feet and ground manners. If they don’t have good manners on the ground. Skip them
health, age, potential, and any goals you have for the horse like competitions, training, etc
It would have to catch my eye first.
Does it fit the bill for what I want?
Then conformation and soundness. If it gets this far then ride it.
Find out it's quirks.
If still happy vet.
• health (has it ever injured itself? is it fit? does it show signs of lameness)
• potential (what levels do i want to ride and is the horse i am looking at physically able to reach these levels)
• quality (what have the horse's parents achieved? does the horse have a strong quality jump? does he have nice gates?)
• handling (is this horse good to handle? does it have good ground manners? is it easy to load? does it bite or kick?)
• experience horse and rider (how experienced is this horse? how old is it? am i experienced enough? if the horse is difficult, can i handle it's behaviour?)
• riders feeling (do i feel well riding this horse? do i feel safe or does it scare me?)
• inner voice (does this horse impact me positively? what does does my inner voice say?
• aesthetics (do i like how this horse looks? do i like his movements? what do his eyes say?)
I would definately recomment trying the horse before purchasing it. By best friend bought a horse online from the netherlands that had been successful in the grand prixs and had won a lot. She didn't try him first. He ended up hard mouthed, panicky during courses and dangerous to handle. She was very dissappointed. So i would't recommend doing it that way.
I also wouldn't buy a young inexperienced horse if you can't handle it. But if you have a lot of experience and want a "project horse" that can be perfect too.
Temperament and what you are looking for. Don't try to trick yourself
Focus on what your ultimate goal for the horse is. Then go through the aspects that discipline requires. look for that in the horses. Also, be careful when looking online! Many of the ads are scams! And don't be afraid to make a list of questions to call and ask before you go look at the horse. I think the best horses are the ones that are not finished yet. This enables you to take it in any direction!
First of all the soundness, then the brain, experience, movement. Since I got several really good ones, I would also consider about the bloodline.