When learning to ride a horse, use the help of an experienced rider to avoid dangerous situations and to avoid bad habits that will have to be corrected later. Ride a horse by practicing holding the reins and walking with tips from an equestrian coach in this free video on horse care.
When learning how to ride, it's really important that you have someone knowledgeable to help you. Learning on your own can be dangerous and you can also learn the wrong way and have to change those habits later on. So to begin with, we'll just start with how to get on. You're going to hold the reins in your left hand along with a little bit of mane, bring your left foot up into the stirrup, and swing up and over and take your other stirrup up. To hold the reins for an English bridle, you're going to take the rein, flip it around so your thumb can be on top of the rein and the rein can feed through your pinky, up through your pointer and your thumb. To walk, close your calves and squeeze your horse forward. To stop, pull back evenly with both reins. You should practice both of these things walking forward and then stopping as these are the building blocks for moving on to more advanced things. Once you're comfortable walking and stopping, practice some steering. You want to get a feel for how to turn left, which is to take your left rein back a little bit towards your hip, and then to turn right, take your right hand back toward your hip. Once you feel comfortable stopping, going forward and steering at the walk, you can move forward to trotting.