It's good if you have a well fitted riding helmet and some sturdy shoes like 'paddock boots' to ride in.
Well a lot of it depends on how fit and wild and fearless you are. If you're very athletic and active, the teacher will be able to roll along pretty quick with you. Sometimes the first lesson is on grooming, tacking up, leading, mounting, etc. But most first lessons include some riding.
Usually, you start out with position, the instructor will show you how to get your feet in the stirrups, hold the reins, sit in the middle of the saddle.
Some instructors put new students on a 'longe line' and you go around in a circle around the instructor while she holds the longe line - so the instructor controls the horse, sort of like those student driver cars, LOL. Usually, on the longe, you just worry about your position and the instructor keeps the horse moving in the right direction. Being on a longe line may seem boring but actually, people progress very well with that method.
Next, you'll most likely learn steering around turns, halting and moving off at a walk. Then a slow trot, and posting (moving up and down). Posting is good, far more fun than staying in the saddle and trying to absorb the trot motion with your body. But you'll learn to sit to the trot too, eventually.
Next, cantering, which feels absolutely wonderful. The horse springs along very effortlessly and it's really fun to ride in canter.
Jumping lower obstacles just feels like a BIG canter stride. You'll learn the jumping position, and how to steer your horse straight to the jump.
As far as going fox hunting very soon, 'that depends'. Some hunts are on very easy ground, and folks 'hill top' on an old, gentle quiet horse, without jumping. The 'hilltop' views let you see how the hunt staff is working the hounds.
Some hunts have a whole contingency of hilltoppers, even some driving carriages, on bicycles, on foot!
Some hunts move very, very fast and the country is such that everyone has to go like a bandit and jump a lot of varied obstacles. If your hunt is like that, it might be some time before you can muck in with THAT lot! But you'll get there, don't worry about that.
Last edited by slc; 02-17-2011 at 12:14 AM.