Peet–you’re so right about the sweet, patient ponies. I wish I had one! Dirtygum, here’s a dead simple shortcut to improve your balance. You don’t even need a horse. Stand on one leg–just raise the other one off the floor, it doesn’t matter how high–and see if you can stay that way for a count of twenty. Or ten. Or five. Even if you can only do it for two seconds, you’ll get better at it. Then stand on the other foot and do the same thing. I can usually get up to twenty (after doing it several months!), and it’s amazing how much difference it made in my ability to not only mount my (impatient) mare without collapsing on her neck, but staying square and balanced in the saddle. Right, it’s boring. But the good news is you can do it any time you stand in line (supermarket checkout, bank), or any time you find yourself on your feet, walking somewhere (like down the hall).