These are all such great ideas and tips!! I'm so glad I asked this question.
smrobs, really appreciate what you shared about learning to retrain your body position and also the importance of not getting discouraged and sticking with it. I do get frustrated. The good news is I'm better than I was last fall when we worked together. We've been working on walk/trot/canter transitions and really trying to sit up through those.
makin tracks - I did do better on a more balanced mare I used to ride. Her trot was smoother, not like riding my guy's "trampoline trot." I am more top heavy now, not uncomfortable from a riding perspective, but wonder if the biomechanics might have something to do with it.
I wonder if it even makes sense to buy a saddle until I lose weight. I will look into borrowing a dressage saddle if I can find one. Will also try putting the crop behind my elbows. Hadn't heard that one before and it's an excellent idea.
Maybe riding bareback a few times might help my balance. I notice the kids seem to be so balanced when they ride their ponies and horses bareback. My legs need a lot of work, too. That's for sure.
Muppetgirl - I think your pick up on the having to "focus, focus, focus" is very important. It's nice to know you've had problems, too. Guess I was feeling like I was almost alone out there. Definitely agree and will remember your point about paying 10x more attention to my position than the horse's. Hands, reins, legs, sitting up, looking where I want to go, hip position, not leaning while using my weight in the stirrups and saddle.
I'm curious about what you all think about trying to work my horse for 15 minutes every two weeks in a Pessoa or long lines to work on his balance - wonder if I should try that or just work him on walk trot transitions at the lunge and under saddle? His lunging skills are still not super great and I barely know how to lunge him at all. We are working on that - mostly walk trot transitions on the lunge. Changing from one way to the other has not been working so well with the 17 hand beast. :) It sure would be one dangerous mess if I got that Pessoa on him while working by myself and he freaked out. That would NOT be a good thing.
Sky, it is hurtful to hear that I'm not a good rider but even more hurtful when I hear negative comments about my horse. It has really shocked me how sensitive I am about his abilities. It's like someone saying something negative about your child. It really makes me want to prove them wrong. On the other hand, I do have to be open to feedback and really listen in my position. I will see about getting an (ahem, embarrassing) video a friend took of me riding online. Do you know where to upload the video so I can link it to this forum.