Originally Posted by Rachel1786
I have been ridiculously afraid to canter. I don't know why, I started riding when I was 12 and I was brave as anything, I would gallop my gelding out in the fields never fearing anything.
When I was 21 I stopped ridding for a while when I got pregnant. Last year(at 24) I started riding again and then I got a 14year old OTTB. I'll admit when I got her I was scared of her, she was a bit crazy(she came from a kill pen and was understandably stressed out)
So for 4 months I did nothing but ground work with her, but that wasn't enough so I found a trainer on craigslist who came out a few days a week for very little money. We got Bella;s training started(turned out she already knew a lot she just needed someone with the confidence to refresh her memory).
She did most of the riding, and when I did ride her I just walked, I tried trotting twice and almost fell off both times, it was my first time riding in an english saddle and trying to post. Sadly in november she moved and I slacked off with Bella's training because of the weather.
In january I started taking riding lessons and learning how to actually ride english, since i've only ridden western. Everything started to come together, finally got the posting down, but when it came to cantering I just have a huge mental Block. In april I moved my mare from my house up to where I take lessons to start working with her again with the help of my instructor/barn owner, she said she wouldn't charge me for lessons but would help me work with her and be there when I rode and help me out.
Her trot is fast and lofty so it took some getting used to compared to the slow paced lesson horse but things are going great with that, there are some young riders there who ride Bella w/t/c and jump. On friday I asked if I could ride Molly, the lesson horse again because I wanted to try to canter. I cantered her and it was great. So today I tried to canter bella and it was a DISASTER! Well maybe not but it felt like it, I'm not even 100% sure what happened but I think after a few strides she took a turn hard and I lost my balance, I almost fell off but I grabbed mane, then my reins were too long and I couldn't stop her.
UGH I was so shaken I had to get off
, I had Alexa get on her and work her some more but I ended up running out of time because I had to be back at work...Why is cantering so difficult for me, I used to love to canter. Everyone always says how smooth and comfortable Bella's canter is, It's so frustrating that I can't do it. When I go and ride her again I'm planning to try again, but I'm worried after today I'm going to be even more nervous about it.
I don't think it is a "you" issue, or your TB's issue - I think that it is a point of A) No trust and B) No Connection between the two of you. She is trying for you, and is doing what she knows.
I think you started her out wonderfully, with the ground work - absolutely cannot go wrong there, and you've starded a bond with that process already taken, which again, is wonderful.
I would suggest, getting put on the lunge line if you can, and have your coach work with you step by step, to obtain your balance and security while on your horse. That way, if things start to go downhill, your coach can put a halt to everything, so that you can re-establish your security and balance, and then start over.
Have her start at the walk with you, and then when you have a solid lower leg, solid seat and strong core - when you are comfortable, move to the trot.
I would also have your coach put you on a lesson horse, where you can do reinless work - so you can solidify your security in your tack. Where you can work on your lower leg, your seat and find your balance and center.
Establish all your aids, to work together. Seat, legs, core, upper body, arms, hands, etc, etc.
The more and more you strengthen yourself in your tack, the more confident you will become.
Then you will be ready for anything.
I wish you all the best, you'll get there! One step at a time!