I just have to chime in on one thing. That first picture really scared me. Please, please, please, don't sit on him like that. You have zero control and no way to effectively get away from him if things were to go pear shaped. I have ridden enough young horses that spook when you disappear from one side and suddenly re-appear on the other side when you're on them. If he had spooked to the right, away from your head/face/arm suddenly appearing on his left side, that could have been a very real catastrophe, especially considering you likely have a foot in the stirrup on the other side.
Please, when you are riding a young horse, always be in a position where you can either stick your butt in the saddle, or cleanly get away.
I will admit that it is not the utmost safest position to be in. It was either that or be facing the other way like the 2nd picture with one foot in the stirrup. In either position I could get hurt if he spooked from seeing me on the other side. In the 1st position I would likely fall underneath him as he passed over me (my foot is always out of the stirrup). In the 2nd position I would likely fall on my head on the other side of him (depending on how fast and far he spooks/jumps) and risk having my foot caught in the stirrup...or I will fall the same way as the 1st position. I would rather not take either falls but of course that is the risk I take in starting my own horse.
However, I'm not just going to jump all the way in the saddle either.
I have done a lot of ground work with him to ensure that he is not spooky while I am in the saddle (after all I've had 5 yrs to do it. Lol ). I have sacked him out from both sides (in which I also took the bag on the carrot stick and sacked him out on one side while standing on the opposite side). I have flexed his neck both ways so he can see me when I am in the saddle.
Every time I have been in the saddle Buckshot has been very calm and focused. I make sure he is in that sort of mood before I get on. I also make sure to keep a close eye on his movements and signals so I can predict what is coming next.
I worked with him yesterday and I posted our success in our training journal linked above. That is where I will be posting all of the updates if you want to know how things are coming. :)