I would start western. If the horse hits the fan, a saddle horn can help keep you from sliding off sideways. I started at 50 and see nothing amusing about falling off. A western saddle distributes weight over a larger area, which dampens the effect of bad riding by a new rider. You will do some bouncing while learning, so why not get the bouncing out of the way with a saddle that provides more protection for the horse's back? The picture below compares some saddles:
You can learn balance just as well with a western saddle as with an English one. The balance has a somewhat different feel because the saddles have different shapes. I suspect the big difference is psychological. My Australian saddle feels just like my English one if I close my eyes, but I feel almost naked in the English one when I open my eyes. It has nothing to do with how one rides, it just looks like something is missing...namely, the mickey mouse ears (called poleys) on an Australian saddle. Pictures of both below:
IMHO, all beginning riders should start by riding with slack in the reins. You can ride a lot of miles outside an arena without needing to develop a 'feel for the horse's mouth'. And frankly, I think there are a lot more riders who think
they have a feel than there are ones who actually
have a feel.
Horses can behave fine with a bit of slack. VS Littauer loved jumping and English riding, but he concluded 80-90% of riding can be done with slack reins.
There is also a good chance your goals will change after you start riding. I originally started English because I wanted to do jumping. With time, I noticed I wasn't fond of riding around an arena and there wasn't much a person can safely jump in the southern Arizona desert. I went from English to Australian, then switched to using a western approach to using the reins with an Australian saddle, and have ended up western in both saddle and bridle.
Others go the opposite route, and neither is wrong. Some people start western and discover it is dressage that thrills them. Until you've spent some time on horses, you won't know for certain...so why not start with something that is forgiving to the horse's back?