I have a character in a medieval setting that has always been uncomfortable around horses and is very inexperienced. Circumstances deem it necessary for a crash course in riding to be at least competent fairly quickly (within days). What are some things they'd likely experience in a first hard lesson? Awkward and embarrassing things happening would be a plus. What are some things they'd absolutely need to know and how to describe them? Thank you!
Hello, thanks for the ask!
The first step will be familiarizing the character with horses, their body language, the tack, and how to care for them. Even if the character doesn’t like horses or isn’t comfortable around them, this knowledge will be imparted upon them.
The next step would be how to mount up, how to hold the reins, how to halt, how to go forward, and how to steer. These are essential skills in staying on, the absolute basics. If the time is of the essence, the teacher may have the character ride and learn these skills for a very large portion of a day on a quiet, patient horse. They then may spend a couple of days teaching the character how to ride at speed before sending them on their way.
Literally nothing teaches a person how to ride better than time spent in the saddle. Your character will pick it up once they have the basics down and are on their way.
Some embarrassing things may be getting on and off the horse (the horse they ride is tall and they have to stretch, the horse walks away when the character is half on, the horse sidesteps away when the character tries to stick their foot in the stirrup, they stumble and fall while dismounting etc.), the horse pulling tricks and testing the character, how sore they will be for the first couple weeks of spending long hours in the saddle, the horse being hard to catch when the character needs to tack them up, etc.
I hope this helps! Feel free to send any more questions our way!