I guess my position on a horse is more functional than pretty seeing as how I can ride through pretty much anything any horse throws at me but I want it to be more pretty. =)
You've become a survivor rider. I am one of those too :) I've learnt that from years of breaking and training and taking on green horses.
There is nothing wrong with that, when needed. I'm like that when I hack, when I attend Fox Hunts as a guest, when I am on the CC course or when I am nervous.
But remember, when we are out, our horses are out. But you will learn this over time. Ensure your coach spends allot of time with you on the flat - establishing your lower leg, your seat, your core, your upper body, arms/hands.
Learning independant aids.
Lunge Line work is fantabulous! Reinless Lunge Line Work, is the best. You learn really fast as to where your seat is, and how your seat and legs work in accordance with one another and how to find your horses center of gravity.
You learn to focus on where your aids are. You also find your core pretty darn tootin' fast.....reason being, is because so many riders rely on their hands, loosing touch with their most important body parts. You take that away...now they are forced to focus on their seat, legs and how to use them.
Hard to explain with words, but when you do it under a coach who knows how to help you with this, you learn so much.
Pretty IS functional. 'un pretty' is NONfunctional.
'pretty' is just a word for good equitation. Staying on, and riding, are two different things.
The closer you are to correct, the better you allow your horse to work. The more 'unpretty' you ride, the more you hinder him.
Don't forget about the perchers. There are many riders out there who are taught how to just "perch" to look pretty. The riders don't learn how to ride functionally.
I see it all the time in the show ring, especially in the Hunter classes. The coaches of these riders, teach them to just "pose" in the saddle without learning how to ride functionally. They learn to just stay there, without interfearing with their push button school horses - and they pin.