I skimmed through the replies, and I don’t think anyone else mentioned one key factor in the lease/buy equation. The horse that will be a good fit for you now, with only a few months of riding lessons, will very likely NOT be the right horse 18 months to 2 years from how. Right now, you will need a well trained beginner horse, but in 18 months to 2 years, you will have a better handle on exactly what type of riding you want to do, and whether or not you want to show, and you will be a much better rider ready for something a bit more challenging, but that will also be a horse you are not yet ready to safely handle & ride. Selling a horse you have outgrown can be as difficult as having a lease end. Except with a lease, you know the terms & that this horse is a starter horse, not a forever until death do you part heart horse. If you do lease, do so with the full knowledge that this is a starter horse, because keeping a firm grasp on that fact will make it easier to return that horse to his/her owner at the end of the lease, knowing the next horse may well be that magical forever heart horse.