erica jo, the difference between saddleseat horses and (let's say western horses) is that they are built completely differently. Their heads naturally go up...they aren't built straight out like TB and QH's are- take a look at this illustration...maybe it will help you see what I see :)
In 2 of the pictures you posted, the horses are actually really nice, and the rider is doing a great job communicating. The last picture is a good one too, but from an equitation standpoint, her hands should be lower (more in line with her belly button for that particular horse)
Also, don't know if you've ever ridden a *nice* saddleseat horse, but when your hands go up, their head comes up and nose comes in like a chesspiece...it's just how they go - there is no hauling and seesawing on the bit - they just sit there perched on it.
(here notice the actual laxness of the reins and he's only holding them with one hand :) This is Manilla Thrilla )
C-Bear, the gaits are incredibly smooth! The rack (or running walk for tennessee walking horses) is a gaited horse's version of a trot as far as speed goes...but you literally don't move in the saddle. It is a 4 beat lateral gait, with each foot hitting the ground independently. I've posted this video - look at how still the riders are able to stay:
Foot pattern: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIN-6oyJZ4M
PS- I love my saddlebred!