Originally Posted by 1fish2fish
I would stay away from younger horses IMO a good beginner horse should be 10 years old or more. They still have a lot of get up and go but are less prone to freaking out. Keep in mind that a well cared for horse can live up to 30+ years and still be ridden. If you got a well broken ~10 year old horse you could theoretically have a great companion for another 20 years. Not to mention an "older" horse will probably be cheaper and more "bomb proof" (even though technically there is no such thing).
I have to say, older horses aren't necessarily calmer. I ride a ~20 y/o horse. It's funny when someone new is watching my lesson, because he's really hard to control. If it was up to him he'd gallop all day or until he couldn't anymore. And so after I finish my lesson with him, I can go up and casually say, "And isn't it amazing, he's actually 20!"
Then there used to be a lesson horse who everyone thought was about 20...until he started losing teeth, which the dentist said horses don't usually start losing till they're 30! Yet here he was, at 30, taking off on trail rides and refusing to stop cantering.
I could go on and on about the old horses that don't act their age but I won't. It really just depends on the individual horse, like has been said before. Really, if you're looking for horses, you have to ride the ones you're looking at and then decide. One of the boarders where I ride rode over a hundred horses before she found the one she has now. Just keep looking!