Hi there, Bit of background info first....My dad recently passed away and mum is wanting to get a horse to focus her attention and keep her busy. She has been riding since she was young but not in the conventional taking lessons way she is very old school (55 yr old) where her dad throwed her on bareback and away she went. She always rides bareback as she hates saddles. She has rhumatoid (sp) arthritis and takes alot of painkillers and some days she struggles to get around but likes the odd ride a couple of times a month, so here is where I need the advice...... I would prefer her to get a small (13/14hh) pony with a bit of age who is suitable for a beginner, my thinking is that if it is suitable for a beginner it is more often than not going to be reliable which is what she needs as if she has a fall she could seriously damage her back (not that her riding ability permits a beginner just her circumstances I have recently seen her climb aboard a two year old that hasn't had a lot done with him as no one else would get on him so she is quite spunky) but my friend who is an instructor has a 4 year old cob who mum has totally fallen in love with he has been professionally started by my friend and I have been there the whole time watching/helping. He is a very calm youngster who has maybe only 20/30 professional rides on him and he has already given his first bareback pony ride to a young girl mum says she wants him and that she is willing to buy him and let my friend keep him and put more milage on him while mum has the odd ride a couple of times a month. I'm unsure about it? I am planning to ride the youngster this summer myself. The only reason i'm considering the youngster is because I know he has had a fantastic start and he is already used to me handling him and my friend is on hand anytime I need her please help as i'm concerned about my mums welfare.