I guess I got lucky. My first horse was a little bay mare, named Angel. To call her lazy was an understatement, but she was a ok first horse. The only lessons that I had, was my uncle telling me to get on, sit down, and shut up. And my mom was fine with that, I however wasn't. Angel, was a Tardy Too mare out of a Pokey ****. She was bred for western pleasure, and that is what my uncle found for me knowing that I wanted to run barrels. Needless to say, she never done very well, but it wasn't for lack of her trying, once she got over the laziness. Another down fall of her, was the fact that she was only green broke. She never tried anything, but would buck if you had spurs on and they barely touched her. With my uncles help, I blew that little mare up. She was definantely alley/arena soured. But I didn't know any better than to follow my uncles directions. Luckily my best friend's father took pity on me and actually taught me to ride. I also had riding lessons from another friend along the way, she always thought it was funny to see me coming up her driveway bareback and in halter and lead rope just draped over my horses neck, on a horse that before I got him had a reputation for rearing up and tossing himself over backwards. Between those two people, we eventually fixed his problem, but he still wasn't an ideal second horse for a 14 year old.
But, he's the horse that taught me to never say "I'll never ride that horse!" At the final show of one year, I saw him rear up and jump. If he would have jumped up and to the side, his back feet would have cleared the arena fencing, which is 6.5 feet tall. When I saw him do that, I made the comment "I'll never ride that horse!" And who was I riding at the first horse show, the very next year? Him, and I had only had him about a week, but I was expected to RUN him in barrels and poles that night.
I know this kinda sounds like a horror story, but it really isn't. Once we got him out of the habit of rearing, he was a great horse to ride. I rode him everywhere, including at shows bareback with only a halter, and his running boots. He was a great trail horse, and I also rode him in some WP classes, and reining classes. But those were just to further his training.
I still love that horse, and miss him daily.