I watched a young woman, (perhaps early 20's) ride a horse over the weekend and I was impressed with her riding. Nothing fancy, but she had a good seat, balance, and reined very well.
I wouldn't say she was show worthy, but she had a "feel" for the horse and although she never went over a canter, she maintained a smooth trot.
Strange part was I asked her how long she had been riding and she said it was her 4th time ever in the saddle. That she went on a few trail rides at an hour each and road a friends horse in an arena one time.
She said she didn't know much about it except to sit deep and hold the reins steady, etc.
That's what I call either "faking it" or a natural.
Could you spot a "faker" or natural rider in a short 30 minute riding demonstration? Can some one REALLY "fake it"?
I do think there are natural riders, who get on horse and just belong there, but can you tell they aren't accomplished? What do you look for when you watch a rider? What "sticks out" to you the most when some one is green?
It's a lot like nuts and bolts - if the rider's nuts, the horse bolts! ~Nicholas Evans