My first ride was on a horse named Dusty, an Appaloosa at a public trail ride place in my home town. I rode double with my dad, and sat in front of him on the saddle and just held on to the horn. This place did full hour-long walk, trot, and canter rides, in big groups, too, so I got all the basic gaits on my very first ride!! I was probably... four or five?
My first SOLO ride was a couple of years later, at the same place, on a buckskin mare named Biscuit. I was probably... six or seven?
I can still remember the smell and feel of those rides!
(This was in the mid-to-late 1980s. No helmets, no real rules, and I'm amazed everyone made it out of that place alive, LOL.)