Join Date: May 2013
Location: Central Florida
• Horses: 0
I don't believe that you have over-thought this at all! It's perfectly reasonable , imho (admittedly an overthinker..lol), to seek an idea of what to expect.
You've already gotten some great responses. Some specific things that I experienced and/or saw done at first lessons were :
1) learn the correct way to mount (believe it or not, there are different trains of thought as to what is 'correct' in mounting. ie. always mount from the left VS mount from either side,,,always have someone hold the horses head VS don't have anyone hold the horses head....grab mane and rein VS grap the saddle horn or pommel, ok for horse to take a step before being cued VS horse must stand still until cued to step out...etc.....get the picture ? see how MUCH there is to learn?? :)
2) how to determine correct stirrup length and note which 'hole' is the correct setting for you so that you and the instructor will know for the next lesson (assuming using their saddle and the same saddle each lesson)
3) how to sit balanced (ear,shoulder,hip,back of heel)
4) how to hold the reins (yep, lots of different opinions on this also!)
5) sit on the horse bareback with someone holding his head and do the Around the World Excercise . I've seen this especially with children, but I think it's a good excercise for anyone. It helps the student use different muscles and get a feel of the horse's body. The excercise is with student sitting normally, then swing a leg up and over the withers, ending sitting sideways, then swing a leg over and around ending up sitting facing backwards,,then swing and end up sitting sideways on the other side, swing again and you're back in normal position.
6) beginnings of how to position foot correctly-toes in, heels down
7) how to dismount safely for you and the horse
Good luck, have a blast!
Be as soft as possible, but as firm as necessary--Pat Parelli