Training a small pony to ride
I rescued a small pony, and he is friendly and respectful on the ground. Easy to handle. He had previously foundered, but I have him with a rehabilitative farrier and he is doing really, really well. I was told he rides and drives. Here's the problem: I am the smallest person in my family, and at 120#, I don't think I could/should ride an 11 hand pony. Also, I don't have a small saddle. I don't really want to buy a smaller saddle as I still have no one to sit in it. However, I do want to see if he is rideable as that will help with his future rehoming - we all know rideable horses get better homes.
Any suggestions for getting a small pony under saddle? Especially when there's no one to ride it? How do people train minis to ride? If this seems like a dumb question, then I apologize, but I want to put weight on him and I would NEVER rehome a horse as a riding pony without actually having him under saddle that I can SEE. The people I rescued him from did a bad job caring for him, so I don't trust them one whit.
If anyone has good videos to link to, let me know. He is awesome on the ground and disengages hind end and does all the stuff, but I only have a big saddle that will for sure hurt his tiny back, and I don't want him to have any negative experiences.