Right now there is a mare that I am considering for purchase. She is a nice big bodied quarter horse with good bone and a running style get-up (not a reiner or pleasure type). There is a video which shows her to be pretty broke and sensible. She side passes both ways, is light in your hands and turns on the haunches and backs nicely. I think she has a pretty decent handle on her and they say she is great to be tied, hauled and handled. Her price is pretty dang reasonable.... primarily because she is a "Cold Back Horse".
She will hump up and occasionally buck when you first get on her but is better if lunged first. After she warms up she settles down and will work well for you. I asked the usual questions like does her saddle fit and has she seen a chiropractor. The owner said that they did have a chiropractor see her once and it seemed to help a little but wasnt a permanent fix... but I also know chiropractic work is rarely ever a one shot deal and they often need regular maintenance. She said she felt the saddle fit well enough.
If I did buy this horse I would do so under the premise that I could not fix her. I would try to fix her but I wouldnt bet on it. I am actually not the most worried about her obvious issue (cold back) but am instead more worried about what it could indicate about her soundness and whether a cold back horse that will buck will be more likely to buck when pushed once warmed up.
Anyone have any experience with cold back horses? Do you think a horse can simply be "cold backed" when they are clearly broke? Or is it an issue of pain? Can they be trusted once warmed up to not always resort to bucking when in a pinch (the physical or proverbial kind)?