I found a lady who is willing to offer me a lease horse in exchange for doing work for free! I am so happy. I got to meet her horses, and they're beautiful. I do have some general etiquette questions regarding others' horses, as this is my first time leasing.
1. Is it okay to show that I am the boss to other horses [i.e. Making them move their feet if they're in my way, or getting pushy]? The boys were getting pushy as I helped feed today so I moved them out of my space. She didn't seem to mind, and I think respected me more for it. I just want to know for future reference.
2. What kind of ground work should I do before riding, so as to enhance my riding and general relationship with the horse?
3. Should I ride with the owner present at first while I get acquainted with her horses for safety reasons?
I think I'll have more questions later on, but thank you for answering!