All new riders should learn on a pony like Star. It'd have the advantage of culling the easily frightened, and teach the rest that yes, you do have a 800 pound plus animal under you who may be harder-headed than even you. They would also learn the most important lesson in riding:
Sometimes, it's just you, the quadruped, and almost certain death.
Sometimes, though, it just hurts like hell.
My first job, as I have mentioned here, was at a summer camp. Being a mostly useless sort, I assisted in the arts and crafts department and in the stables.
I wasn't certified to teach English riding (and I certainly didn't have the talent to seek certification), which meant my role was pretty much limited to cleaning tack (a good day) or hauling poop (most days). One lucky day, though, a group of campers was going on a trail ride, and being particularly short-staffed that afternoon, I was invited to go along for the ride (pun!) to help supervise the girls.
The horses were to the last, hard-mouthed, old, and very accustomed to the camp lifestyle--that is, they knew that all they ever had to do was follow the horse in front of them, nose-to-horsebutt. These horses had no setting but "autopilot."
Cue the startled rabbit. It ran away and lived happily ever after. I, however, didn't think I was going to live that long. My horse, a brown paint whose name I don't remember but was probably something like "Bear" or "Jerry" skittered in a little half-jump. Because we hadn't gone faster than a very, very slow nose-to-horsebutt shuffle/walk, I was sitting pretty relaxed and not paying very much attention.
I was not unseated. That probably would have been better. Instead, as I started to fly over the horse's neck, I gripped with my legs and returned my weight onto the beast--but not the saddle. No, I had flown over the pommel and landed hard the neck. Which, if you don't know, is angular. You might even say sharp.
Or you could just say, "Oh god, kill me now..."
(True: This is one of the many reasons I don't like to think of rabbits as being a pet-type animal...)