Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
Two hours a month isn't very much. You'll likely spend a significant portion of the lesson going over what you learned last time.
Unfortunately there isn't a straight time line I can give you. It does depend on you, and also your instructor, and what your lessons are like. Some people naturally pick up riding a little better than others, so I don't know when you'll be trotting without thinking about it, but it might take a while.
Be aware, horses generally cost more than two lessons a month. When I was a kid and wanted my own horse my parents were very reluctant, so I had two lessons a week, and then three, and then they thought that owning a horse would be cheaper. So we got a horse but it was still more expensive to maintain than 3 lessons a week.
Within a year of riding I was walking, trotting and cantering confidently but that was on a school horse, which is really a very different experience to a non-school horse, but I would take weekly lessons as well as holiday camps at my riding school. My riding improved very quickly when I got my own horse, and not just because I could ride regularly but because a horse that you have to actually control, teach etc. teaches you a whole lot more.
Although, riding can get a lot better in a short time. I helped teach a little at Pony Club camp, and had my own troop, and while they were children, some of them improved so much over the course of a week. Its not just the hours you put in, but how close they are together, and after a week of riding 4 hours a day people improve a lot.
Generally being fit and flexible will probably help you, but riding is like everything else, to be good you have to put in the time. People learning an instrument practice everyday, and the same with riding, you've got to work at it. Riders can make it look easy, invisibly cuing the horse, but they didn't get there in a week, or in a year, or sometimes even in five years.
If its a funding problem perhaps look at seeing if you can do some work in exchange for lessons, if you really do want to learn everything and quickly you've got to ride more.