Visitors came over and I never really got to finish my thoughts.
I think finding the right horse is more important than anything else. When my parents bought me my first horse I was a teenage and had a grand total of 0 riding lessons. I had ridden nose-to-tail rental horses quite a bit. But that really doesn't teach you how to control a horse yourself.
Sure, lessons would have been great. The first year I had some struggles. The first time the horse trotted up a hill without me asking, and I didn't expect it, I thought I was being run away with. My Dad still teases me about that.
But I had the most wonderful, forgiving, and yes, lazy Arabian gelding you would ever want to meet. He was awesome and had no bad intentions at all. Within about a year I got another horse (another Arabian gelding) so friends could go riding with me. The second horse had a little more energy and attitude but at that point I was experienced enough to handle him and put my beginner friends on my beginner horse.
Anyway, I think lessons are great. But I wouldn't let that hold me back from getting a horse. It worked out great for me. Here I am, over 20 years later, and I am still into horses. I did end up with a foal and raised him up from a baby and he ended up being too much horse for me. And I had a lot of help. But I think a lot of that is that our personalities clashed. Please don't start with a foal!
Get a really nice, honest, beginner safe horse and odds are you'll be fine because if you get the right horse they are not out to take advantage and will help you along and help you learn. There are some horses like that out there. Besides my first Arabian, years later I bought the most awesome, well trained BLM Mustang that was like a parent to me. He totally took care of me! Take some time and find a really honest, safe horse, that's my biggest recommendation. Not every horse is out to take advantage of you. Sure, they might sneak a little grass out on the trail if you let them, but a lot of horses are not out to do much more than that. (And some are.) Find a gentle, beginner safe horse and you will likely do fine.