So I had my first ever real life riding lesson today. On a strawberry roan QH mare named Rose. :D I had so much fun... but OW!
My core muscles are STILL screaming at me. It was a lunge line lesson, we focused on my balance. No saddle, no reins. She had put several pads and a vaulting surcingle (if you don't know what that is: I'll link you to Dover Saddlery).
The first part of the lesson, she had me sit on a chair, on my hands, so that my hands were under my seat bones, and had me doing various things to show me what the horse feels on his/her back from our seat. She explained that if we get tense, and tense the muscles there, the horse can't feel us anymore, and that's like letting go of the steering wheel of a car to dig in the back seat.
Then she explained how to drive a horse to a walk with the seat and how to ask for a halt. And then... it was time. She had me hold on to the handles of the surcingle at first, but occasionally had me stick my hands out to the side. She had to keep reminding me to lean back. She even showed me how to move Rose into a trot, and I think I got so excited that not only was my face splitting in two with a smile, but I kept unbalancing myself, and she had to remind me further to lean back in the classical seat. Another time, she had me stick the toes of my boots behind me on Rose's rump, and then had me drive her into a walk like that and then eventually back to a halt.
So basically... I learned to ride with my butt today. Oh boy, Siaga is gonna LOVE me when I start insisting on riding bareback so that I know he can feel my seat bones. (I do have a surcingle, but it doesn't handles. I do suppose I could give him some bit of padding though with that.)
Anyways. She told me she was surprised, for how limited my history of riding has been, at how well I held my balance. :O I'm not sure I believe her, but hey, I didn't fall off, so that means something, right?
So now I have riding lessons every Monday, yay!