Yeah I have noticed personally my habit of putting to muck weight in my stirrups and not my pockets. I have actually ridden english on this horse and another horse and I don't like it :O its just not me, I am more comfy in western and for some reason english stirrups, the war my foot is, triggers my foot to do a super tense up sending me into pain!
I like appys too its actually my friends moms horse but she said its "mine" and she just pays for it and takes care of it. I ride more than she does now (which I think she should ride more often than she does to keep her with an experienced rider)
Western is very seat, seat bone oriented. Very single picture, every one of you, even BSMS's, are not using them that much, no deep seats and no strong calves, something to work on. All of you need to relax your shoulders and chests out more, except the girl in BSMS's pic, she needs to take the hollow out her back with a better seat & leg position. Nothing horribly wrong, just things to remember.
That's right, Ilovepets. While it may not be technically "proper" in the horsemanship sense of the word, it isn't wrong. In riding, especially western riding, there is so much leeway in regards to what is right and what is wrong and what's right for one person may be wrong for another.
From what I see, you ride well. You're only faults are your tension and lack of experience (mostly seen in your hands). These are things that, while difficult to break the habit of doing, aren't really so difficult to learn how to correct them.
Just to show that it is possible to learn, I used to have the same habit as you, too much tension in my lower body and too much bracing with my legs. As a child and younger teenager, I found it difficult to smoothly sit a trot/lope on a horse that traveled a bit rough. Once I had my problem pointed out, I learned to keep my legs down and in where they are more useful.
Now, keep in mind that I am not trying to show "proper" position because God knows I don't have that LOL, but just a more effective working position that allows me to be more fluid and a more efficient rider.
This one is from a few years ago, when I was still really battling my leg problem.
And here are some more recent pictures. If you look closely at my legs, you can see that they are relaxed but still staying near the sides of the horse...not bracing forward or out. Also, you'll notice that my seat stays down in the saddle, even at the moments in the motion where the motion wants to move you up out of the saddle.
Soon enough, you'll be able to ride just about anything and make it look good LOL. This mare had the most God-awful lope I've ever ridden. The only motion to it was a relentless, jarring, pogo motion (all 4 feet would leave the ground and land at almost the exact same moment).