Originally Posted by JaneyWaney9
I agree with all of the above, but I'd like to throw something else out there.
In some cases, it is mind over matter.
I had a tendency to just fall off, even when the situation wasn't that bad. Balance was part of it, but a big thing was confidence.
Then, one day, I took a horse out for a ride in a pasture. He decided he didn't really want to play anymore, so he whipped around and took me for the ride of my life. At that point, he was going so fast that I figured I'd probably die or be seriously maimed if I let go, so it was enough to keep me on. Now I'm at the point where it's pretty hard to get me off.
So, not too much help, but consider confidence!!
I agree with this and what Skye said.
While balance and a good, stable seat will help you enormously in the case of a spook, I know that personally, what has made the biggest difference in my riding is my confidence level.
Over the two and a half years that I have been riding, a number of various situations pretty early on dented my confidence pretty badly. I found that although I have a decent seat, I would come off at the tiniest things.
Because when my horse would spook, I would do as Skye said - I would tense. I didn't have the confidence in myself and my riding ability to think I would be able to handle my horse and stay on - so I didn't. But as I've been working with my instructor and gaining more confidence, I'm discovering that it's getting harder and harder for my spooky, crow-hopping mare to get me off.