It's not a riding lesson/school horse's job to misbehave, to any extent. I see a good many riding stables where the horses come from the rodeo bucking string, and 'Killer' or 'Widow Maker' is hauling around beginners, and most of the lessons consist of children flying everywhere like tiddlywinks.
The worst case I ever saw of that, was at a TRC where the slightly too rambunctious horses sent most of the riders (equal opportunity, any and all disabilities) in the lesson flying, when (of course it had to be me) a volunteer led a horse down the barn aisle.
For the beginner rider, they need a horse that is appropriate to their level.
If they are learning to get used to the canter, a horse that won't canter with a little urging, or a horse that runs off bucking every time it canters, is not appropriate.
If they are learning to steer, the horse needs to turn when they pull on one rein and put their hand out. The horse that ducks out, rubber necks, that's not what they are supposed to be dealing with right now. They are learning - when you want to turn LEFT - put your left hand out like this and pull.
If they have been riding for a zillian years and are learning to do flying lead changes to every stride, then yes, actually, the horse needs to be fairly easy to get to flying lead changes every stride. Eva Marie Pracht had a horse that she taught ones on - her directions were generally, 'Swing your legs like crazy, as fast as you can'. Not a whole lot of real special timing required.
I can say, that if I pay 60-125 dollars an hour for a riding lesson, if I went there to learn some advanced move, I'd be pretty irritated if the horse had never been taught to do it, or acted like a jerk every time he was asked to do it.
Last edited by slc; 02-20-2011 at 11:25 PM.