And of course, nothing bad happened. It was actually fun to be riding in a group setting. It was fine being the worst one. At some point, you're SO FAR behind the other people that it's not even embarrassing -- you're just a beginner, and they're experienced. I did not fall off, I did not go bolting across the ring out of control. There was one point where I couldn't get my horse to stop, but even that wasn't too bad. Then, after the lesson, we had wine and chatted. Another person in my lesson was surprised to learn that horseback riding was a new hobby for me, which flattered me. Everyone swapped stories about falling off, and my old teacher told a story about a student that she was convinced was trying to murder her (by poisoning). I did not say much, but it was okay. I did not drink excessive amounts of wine, which I felt was crucial considering that one e-mail exchange. After an hour, we all went home. All-in-all, it was fun, and nothing terrible happened.
(I do not ride like this. Not even close.)