I have to share my story of learning how to ride. I too started off with a "learn together" type situation.
My father sold alfalfa to a local barn and they offered to give me free lessons. The first few times I went out there they put me on a broke pony and taught me the basics. The barn owner kept telling me "you're a natural! You're a natural!" Well her assuming that I was such a natural she started putting me on greener horses. She brought in a unbroke Halflinger/Arabian/Paint from Amish country (sounds like an ugly cross but he was stunning!). He was all attitude. She convinced my parents after 3 weeks of her riding him that they should lease him for me. So there I am with only 2 months worth of riding on a broke pony trying to ride a very green pony. The BO thought we could "learn together".
It was winter time by the time we decided to lease him. I would hop on him bareback with just a chain over his nose and ride him for hours inside the barn. I would walk him up and down the isles over and over again. He started a nasty habit of trying to rub me off on the wall. It got to the point where he would sidepass over to the wall and just lean on it. Not knowing any better, I got off every time. Then when spring time came we started riding up and down the driveway, bareback with just a chain. This is where our problems started, as soon as we would get to the bottom of the driveway he would rear. I didn't know any better to be scared, I just thought it was fun!
By spring my parents surprised me and bought him for me. This is when I started to try to take him on trail rides. He wouldn't go through water, or mud, or away from the other horses. He would run backwards through the woods smashing me into trees and other things. He would rear, try to scrape me off on trees, run through the bit and take off towards the barn. He also learned that if he spooked at something I would get off. So he picked up the habit of spooking at things on purpose. I can't tell you how many times I fell off that spring. I ended up being terrified of him.
When we finally brought him home in the beginning of summer, I would make my dad take care of him. I was scared to even touch him. Whenever the neighbor girl came over with her horse, I would always make her ride mine because I was too scared It was either get a trainer or sell the horse. Through my 4-h group I found a wonderful woman who was really big into NH. She focused on really building my confidence with him, the first maybe 20 lessons I cried the whole time. I can remember she always said "remember to breathe". After about 2 years of lessons my confidence was through the roof with him.
In 2005 I was cantering him along the tree line in my back yard. It was a little wet out from a previous rain. As we hit a mud patch he spooked, slipped, and fell on me. It ended up breaking my leg in 4 places. After that I sold him to a pony club in Flordia. Then he ended up at Alan Parker's TB farm where he was rode by Alan's mentally handicapped wife at shows. 2 years later my parents surprised me again with buying him back. The first thing he did when I tried to load him into the trailer down in Florida was drag me and get loose took us 20 minutes to catch him.
When I brought him back home I couldn't believe the horse he had turned into. He was the best lesson pony I have ever seen. He was perfect for children, beginners, and disabled people. He would have been the ultimate therapeutic riding horse. When I rode him all we did was fight, he would spook, rear, and carry on. But when a beginner was on him he was a different horse. I ended up selling him to a 9 year old girl who uses him for 3 day eventing.
Looking back on it now, I was in some serious danger riding him. I could have gotten permanently injured or worse, simply because I didn't know any better. No one told me "this isn't right". No one was looking out for my safety. Be appreciative that the people here have concern for your safety and are giving you good solid advice.
Here is the last video his new owner put up of him. (Even being naughty )