Good for you, rancher. That is a good way to be, then you don't have to worry about something coming back to haunt you.
We have sold LOTS of horses in the past. We had a partner in St. Ignatius that we dealt with and he was great. Trading horses can be honest and still a lot of fun. We didn't buy and sell many, but we FOUND and SOLD horses for people. I always said "If you don't know the horse then you gotta know the people."
We were selling ranch, rope and polo horses sight unseen into Wyoming and never had to take a horse back. We were all so proud of that.
Bob Cordis was the man from St. Ignatius. He doesn't live there anymore. I would like to share a story about him (one of many--but this one shows his character.) He bought a horse at the monthly horse sale in Missoula. The horse was a bit 'off' but the seller assured Bob that he had just trimmed the horse too short (or he got hurt in the trailer, etc--you know the old story). Anyway, Bob believed him, liked the horse and paid quite a bit for him. In two weeks the horse was MUCH WORSE. So Bob called the seller to visit with him about it. The guy on the other end of the phone said, "I don't know why you are calling me. You bought the horse, you own him." Bob says, in his gentlemanly way, "Ahhh, yes. I know what you are saying."
The next month, Bob took the crippled horse back to Missoula to the sale. He ran him through loose and when the horse came in the ring, Bob stood up. He said, "I am Bob Cordis. I bought this horse at the sale last month from _____________"--(I don't know the seller's name, but Bob announced it to everyone there.) "The horse is no good and the man's word is no good."
I always appreciated him doing that. Too bad it doesn't happen more often.
He took a horse to a sale in Billings for someone that we knew. We knew this horse had bucked the lady off, but they didn't tell Bob that. Just asked him to ride the horse through. He called from Billings and told us about selling the horse. His first words were, "that horse should have been in the killer pen." He said that when he rode him in the ring, one of his buddies grabbed the horse by the tail and that horse grabbed himself and lunged across to the wall and came back out really humping. He said the horse only brought $800 and Bob was glad the guy grabbed the horse and no one would get a surprise when they got him home.
We just never bought horses from a horse sale until we moved here. We have done it here simply because it is usually so far to go look at one. Not many people in this area use horses.
And rancher, you are so right, most of the real good horses aren't the most gentle. We have a 26-year old that we have retired that would try you to this day if you got on him. He never bucked anyone off, and he is a Super Horse. He is my husband's horse, I have never ridden him because of how he is. But you can do anything you want to do on him. He stands 16-1, weighs 1435 and is super athletic and smooth as glass. Well, not so smooth now of course, because he is a little stoved up. But he was smooth, one of those horses that did everything on his hind end. Had a great head set, never threw his head in the air. Just one of those you can't replace. Roping, cutting, sorting, riding, you name it, he was super at it. We called him 'Flinch' because he was so touchy when he was young. So I know what you are saying.
Right now though, GENTLE is most important.