Originally Posted by RideroftheWind
Usually I'm a decent rider, but lately I've been going through a really tough time with my riding. I go over jumps and notice my crap position. I swerve around corners because both me and the horse are aweful when it comes to cutting corners. And I'm constantly accidently clamping with my legs or pulling at the bit during jumps or doing other stuff to make him uncomfatorble. . . . I don't mean to, but just little things like squeezing too hard or giving the wrong commands or pulling too hard are a pretty big deal.
You are at a plateau. This will happen all through your riding life. You'll feel thrilled at how much you're improving, then frustrated when it seems to stop for a while. Or--gasp--go backward. What's happening is that you've understood a new concept mentally, but haven't taught your body how to do it yet. For the vast majority of us who aren't natural riders, this is the way it has to be. The brain comes first, then the body. The really tricky part is when you're partway there with your body, but haven't got the finishing touches yet. That's when you have to relax mentally and just blindly follow your instructor (hopefully your instructor is good enough so you can do that).
If you're plateauing for more than, say, a month, it's time to get creative. Ask your instructor for ideas on a different way that you can learn this next step--but don't rely just on your instructor. Find books that deal with what you're having trouble with, and see if anything strikes a spark with you. The best riders often say that they spend time visualizing how to ride perfectly, down to the smallest detail. They also do things like take up yoga or tai chi to learn how to be relaxed and effective at the same time.
Remember that you can improve a lot with work at the walk and trot. Riding bareback and/or without stirrups can help. Learning how to do some in-hand work can help you as well as the horse. Switching disciplines for a short time can help. Anything to give your body and brain more ways to learn.
Ignore the people who blame the horse or tell you to be satisfied with less. I agree with Flagstaff that you have a lot of potential. It shows in your humble attitude and your understanding of the horse's point of view. I suggest that you start a riding journal. After every ride, note down what you did and how things went. You'll soon be able to tell how you're progressing. It can be surprising to look back after a few months and see what you actually have accomplished!