I'm back to going for long rides at least three times a week, and Blue seems to be steady and dependable enough for the girls to start having a turn. Natalie is quite comfortable with riding, but Monica is really nervous on horseback. It was late into the summer or fall last year before she ever got her nerve up to ride at all. We told her she didn't have to ride, and that we didn't care whether she did; but she had a strong desire to conquer her fears.
If I hitch up the stirrups as close as possible, both girls can reach them (barely) with their feet. So this year we won't have to mess with the flimsy buddy stirrups.