John Henry is a big-boned boy with lots of get-up and go on the trail. Crosses water, bridges, tracks, etc. He sides up to whatever you want to mount him from and stands still for mounting and dismounting. Even stood still as my saddle and I slid to his side and I fell off. In these ways, he is safe for a beginner. Great around little kids. I would trust him with a mindless toddler on the ground. And, he gaits beautifully.
He is 16 years old and about 16 hands tall. John Henry can carry up to 300 lbs for long distances without any signs of fatigue or soreness. He does fine with a bit, but I have not had the need.
If you are looking to head out every weekend for 20 miles on a group trail ride, this boy can do that and loves it. He LOVES TRAIL riding. Brought him from Virginia to South Dakota a couple of years ago. In Virginia, we racked up well over 100 miles on trails in the summer. He is barefoot and has great feet all around. Good straight legs, too. He is a bit barn sour unless a pasture mate is with him. He will walk quietly back to the barn, but it takes a lot of energy to keep him going on the way out. That is, unless you are off home base, like on a trail ride. Then is absolutely great.
Finally,loads easily, catches easily, ties well, and stands for the trimmer. He is in great health and is strong and sound. Knows a few tricks, too