So, I have loved horses a lot. I had a span of about 2 years where they were the only thing I thought about; I read up on them and learned about them, and was so into horses. Although the intensity of my thirst for horse knowledge had lowered a bit, I still really loved them and wished that I could ride. However, because of money, I knew that that would never be the case.
You see, my grandfather owns a cattle farm, and he always keeps around a few cats and goats along with his cows. He used to breed Arabians (and did so for quite awhile) until he got older and decided that having so many horses was too much work for him. So, he got rid of all of the horse stalls in his barn and just kept the tack room.
Well, now he's gotten himself a "farm horse" named Lakota. She is a 13 year old, 14HH Missouri Fox Trotter mare, and she is very sweet. However, he got her for about $1400 from her previous owners because they neglected her and just wanted to get rid of her. She has been taught basic riding commands (like, applying pressure with your heels will usually get her to walk), and she will turn when you move the reigns appropriately (if she feels like it). She is still a bit independent and somewhat stubborn, but definitely rideable.
Here is the interesting part; her saddle isn't the correct size, so she has to be ridden bareback for the time being. Today, I went to my grandfather's farm to visit and was with my cousins. They have both had a couple of lessons and are much more comfortable on her back than I am. I am just wary because I have only ever ridden once, and it was on a very well mannered pony. I don't really know what I'm doing when it comes to riding her. I love to groom her and feed her hay and grass, but once I get onto her back I just get nervous that I'll fall off.
I have yet to ride her by myself, and have only had my cousin lead her whilst I was in the saddle (except there was no saddle).
So, does anyone have any tips? I don't foresee myself getting lessons anytime soon, as that just really isn't in the budget. However, I would love any info that you have to provide.
Also, she is a little bit fat (though she doesn't look it). However, as soon as I mounted my hips started hurting. XD I don't know if that really plays a role in anything at all, but I thought I'd share.
Thank you so much for any insight that you have! I really need it.