A mini should never be ridden by an adult. Our mini that we just purchased was "Broke to ride" and do you know who broke her to ride? A 180 lb man. He even demonstrated for us when we went to see her and she buckled under his weight. They are not physically built for somebody to ride. They are driving animals, not riding animals. You should invest in a pony. Oh and here is a pic of sarah and her bad back because of "pleasure riding" from that man and his children, now she's scared to death of kids and men. You notice she is butt high from being broken in and rode by large children. A mini should never be broken in.. and if you continue to ride yours and your cousin as well.. yours will look like her eventually too.