My niece and her fellow have been staying with me for a couple of days. My niece loves to ride when she comes to visit. She only rides about once a year when she comes here. She is about as beginner-y as it gets, but I put her on my sane and safe Isabeau. Her fellow said he knew how to ride fairly well. He's pretty big so I knew he'd have to ride Chorro.
Chorro has been having some issues taking heavier riders. I bought a special saddle from
that I thought would be good for him . . . and it is . . . but it's a treeless and it worries me to put novice riders in it. Chorro was slightly "off" yesterday, fine today, but still, Chorro was going to need to go in that Barefoot treeless saddle to protect his back.
As soon as I got the two of them mounted, I started to worry. Neither one had a clue about how to ride. I had planned to take them around the farm land where I have permission to ride instead of on the road. Isabeau would be fine, as long as everybody else was, but Chorro can spook big. My niece really really wanted to ride to the huge planted pines (she's from CA and said, "Can we ride in the redwoods?") To get there, we had to ride on the road and Chorro can really jump when a big rig goes roaring past. And he can bolt. Easy to stop, but not for a beginner. And they were SUCH beginners.
On the way home, I turned to see him. He had both hands wrapped around the pommel of the Barefoot saddle and reins just lying on Chorro's neck. I almost had a heart attack. "You gotta hold the reins!"
It was a perfect ride and not a thing went wrong. Chorro didn't even spook once. They had a marvelous time. I have a few more gray hairs.