...Anyone who gets on a horse can expect to fall off sooner or later. Get use to the idea. Do it often and, like most things, the more you do it the better you get at it...
Do that in the Sonoran Desert, and you'll be dead or crippled before long. I've been riding 7 years. I started at 50, and a few months later had my one fall. That was in Jan 2009, and it was 5 years before I could go jogging again. Even now, I sometimes take 400 mg of motrin an hour before riding to help loosen up my back.
One of the big changes I made after my fall was to switch from an English to an Australian saddle.
If things started to go wrong, it was much easier to stay in this saddle than this one:
If changing tack is cheating, remember what an instructor pilot in F-4s used to say: "you no have will to cheat, you no have will to win!"
If you don't have someone to teach you, buy "Common Sense Horsemanship": http://www.amazon.com/Common-Sense-H...e+Horsemanship
Read it and think about it. It is geared toward jumping, but I still show its influence even though I don't jump or ride English any more:
If you are not comfortable cantering, don't. My daughter once, at my insistence, tried to get Trooper to canter. He spent 45 minutes refusing. Afterward, she admitted she was afraid of trying. Trooper, good horse that he was and is, did what she wanted, not what she said.
About a year later, she was trotting...and asked for a canter. Trooper shifted into a canter. Now she loves it - but it came on HER timing.
Me? I honestly could go the rest of my life at a walk and trot and be happy. This is my high goal of riding:
Take things at your own pace. Enjoy riding. Use tack to cheat, if needed. Take falls seriously. Don't expect falls. Take sensible precautions, and explore your limits without trying to exceed them.