Originally Posted by futuredoctor
So will I have to get boots before the first lesson?
Most instructors or lesson barns will not let you ride at all - not even the first lesson - without a boot with a heel to prevent your foot from sliding through the stirrup. It's a safety-concern.
I always buy boots for myself and the whole family used on eBay
. We all love the Ariats, and we know they fit right, and we know our sizes in them, so why not. I usually get Ariat paddock boots for any of us for about $20-$40 a pair.
You want boots first. If you have something with a heel, just use that the first lesson. You can get paddock-boots later once you know you want to continue riding. Second thing you will want to get is a helmet. Usually the barn will give you a loaner for the first few lessons, but they usually don't fit your head right, so you'll eventually want your own that fits right.
Boots and helmet are the only thing you really need. Everything else (breeches, half-chaps, etc) just adds to your comfort and is no hurry.