We have 2 mini mares and sometimes we put visiting kids on their backs...the kids are like 3 and under. We sometimes walk a little, but never more then a couple of laps around the run. Our minis have never been really "broke" either (like you said, Snoggle, I have no idea how you would train a horse to ride that a professional couldn't ride first, so we actually kind of hold the child on the mini's back in case they spook) butboth minis are very sturdy with broad, short backs, short, strong legs, and large joints, so we decided there wasn't any harm in very gentle riding. I agree with those who recommend a pony, though...minis just aren't really meant to be ridden. They're very strong for their size, which is why they are excellent for pulling, but their strength is definetly not concentrated in their back, lower legs, and other support structures vital for supporting a rider.