#1
I feel that my ring and pinky fingers, when used together, are holding me back. I can do 7 8 10 8 7 cleaner and faster than 7 9 10 9 7, with picking and using legato.

I've done finger independence exercises which sort of helped my other 3 fingers, but whenever I do a 4 note per string lick like 5678, my pinky will inevitably fly up higher than the rest of the fingers.

However, when I use my middle finger and pinky together, my pinky doesn't raise as high above the fretboard, so I figured the problem was between my ring and pinky.

Any specific tips/exercises that I can use to solve this problem? Thanks.
#2
You're always going to get some sympathetic movement from your pinky when you move your ring finger - they share a tendon.
That's not to say you can't improve it through practice though.
Some of the best independence exercises are the ones that involve moving the ring when the pinky is down. For example, playing 7-9-10 on one string, then 9-7 on the next higher string.
#3
This is a pretty common problem with early/middle stage guitarists. Try this little four bar exercise (you can start on any fret):

|5 - 6 - 7 - 8 | 8 - 7 - 6 - 5 | 5 - 8 - 7 - 8 | 6 - 8 - 7 - 8|

The goal here is to play using the absolute minimal pressure needed to create a clean sound, make sure you play directly on your finger tips. The main problem you're trying to solve is what's called residual tension/muscle memory, it happens when our muscles get used to being used in a certain way, they'll try to keep doing what they know until your slowly teach them otherwise. The best way to do that is through slow, controlled movements rather then forceful movements, which will often make the problem much worse. Hope this makes sense/helps!