Well obviously i have a good for nothing horse, and i am a good for nothing rider. But thank you all for your input and i am serioulsy going to send him off to a trainer. period.
There is a right way to offer constructive criticms and there is a wrong way. I've ready through the first few pages of this thread and I beleive alot of people were harsh and hurtful in the way they typed their critiques.
People, please try to remember that we were all beginners at one time or another and not all of us had the great trainers and were surrounded by experienced people that could offer immediate advice and we didn't all have the perfect SAFE horse the first time around. And please remember that this forum is not only here "for the horse". We are here "for the rider" as well.
I was in your shoes once. My first horse, Pistol reared and bucked and bolted and I rode w/ my reigns very tight, he actually used my reign contact as a 3rd leg in the front, he balanced off my preasure and that was wrong. And lucky me, I got the same advice you are getting. And I walked away with the same feeling you are walking away with. "I SUCK AND MY HORSE IS GARBAGE". Well, it took a lot of years but I figured it out and my horse won some year end championships at local shows. He also has been in more parades and performances then I can count.
What I'm trying to say is, yes, your horse is unbalanced right now, you are working too hard to keep him under control, he's popping rears which will become very dangerous if you do not fix it immediately. You have a few balance issues but you are not a horrible rider and you are doing a great job working with him. You need to skip through the "ugliness" and pick out the advice that is offered because there is good advice.
My suggestion is drop the speed events for now. Go back to the basics. Work on small circles, get off the rail and use a small small portion of the ring. do tons and tons of directional changes. work on your sitting trot and your halts. tons of halts and backs. trot for just a few lenghts and halt then back. don't canter for a while and when you do, just canter about 5 strides and come back to a trot or walk. Get him listening to you and get him collected. Get him working on a looser reign. You are looking at a few months worth of work.
But please, don't let this get you down. You are doing great. and you arent' horrible and neither is your horse.
"Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you
Go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense
Never let your prayin knees get lazy
And love like crazy"