02-14-2011, 06:14 AM
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So far you have gotten some excellent advice but I figured I would offer my two-cents (so to speak).
My first suggestion, as others have mentioned is to get someone to lunge you while you are in the saddle. That way you are focusing on your position and balance without having to worry about what the horse under you is doing. That way the person lunging you if they have enough experience can offer you advice as well. Also, stirrup-less is good - I would start on the lunge. Because it can help you to find the centre of your saddle and can help you relax in the saddle. But, you do need to relax your seat and your legs. Also your upper body - otherwise you will become tense and start bouncing around in the saddle which will cause yourself to become unbalanced.
Also, does your saddle fit you correctly? If your riding in a saddle that doesn't fit you correctly it can put your balance off. Another thing relevant to the equipment your using is, if your stirrups are too long it will cause your legs to swing. Making your upper-body become unstable and this would then result in a lack of balance. Again, if they are too short it will also cause a lack of balance. Bareback, is good. But you need to have a level of balance and a certain good seat to be able to ride bareback - otherwise you can bounce around causing you to tense up once again and loose balance.
Riding without reins is another good idea, because when people have a lack of balance they tend to bump around in the saddle and use their horses mouth to balance on - not saying you are doing this but it is something you need to be careful not to do. I once read a book about centred riding. It mentioned how your breathing will help your balance and for you to stay centred in the saddle, if your breathing is uneven it can actually cause you to become unbalanced in the saddle.
There is the mental side of things, if you think you are unbalanced. You will be, but if you use a positive mind-frame and think I can stay balanced, I am centre in the saddle you may find you have a more positive result. Work hard, stay positive and I'm sure you'll have great results. Remember to also feel your horse and try to work with their motion instead of against it. Using objects to work around - will help. Such as tyres, buckets, ect. Work on transitions, turns, circles, ect and you'll be noticing improvements in no time.
Photos and videos would help a lot and members may be able to recognize riding faults that are causing your balance issues. Remember, all riders have faults.