To know a good horse when you see one, you must have first been around good horses. This may sound obvious but many people don't understand the necessity of watching horses move, studying their confirmation and most of all working with them, especially riding them.
Whatever your equine interest is, go and find where the good horses are. If you love hunters (as I do), go to a Class A Hunter-Jumper show in your area. In our area there are many opportunities to watch really nice horses work and compete in a wide variety of disciplines - everything from Dressage to Cutting. I personally enjoy watching good horses doing lots of events. Of course I particularly like Western Pleasure and western working horses but I appreciate a wide variety of events and the equine athletes that participate in them.
Getting back to my original point, a good "eye" is developed over time. Some people have a more natural talent to pick out nice horses but everyone can learn by observing. And, while we're on the subject, find out what makes these horses special. There is no perfect horse, but horses are not equal in their talents and abilities. What makes a horse lope nice and slow and pretty? What makes a horse spin and stop with breathtaking beauty? See if you can figure it out. I guarantee you will be challenged, find it fun and, you'll become a better horseman for it! See you next week, JD