Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: I'm an American girl living in southwest France
You've already been given some good advice, so I'm just going to say to go to the barn with a plan already in your head, or even better, written down on a piece of paper you can fold up and put in your pocket. If you try to come up with stuff while you're on the horse, you're more likely to do boring things, quit when things get tough, or end up wanting to end the riding time sooner than you originally thought you would.
I'll go ahead and echo a few things here too: riding without stirrups (walk and trot to start - hang onto the saddle in the beginning if you need to ... I did for over a year with my very bouncy mare); work on transitions ... going from trot to walk, and back up, trot to halt and back up, etc.; work on trotting over poles on the ground evenly spaced. All this stuff seems like no big deal, but it's a really big deal for both you and the horse. The more you practice it, the more you'll realize how much it matters.
“When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk: he trots the air; the earth sings when he touches it; the basest horn of his hoof is more musical than the pipe of Hermes. ” ~ William Shakespeare