1. Every time I ask when I can learn to canter I'm told I'm not ready for it. However I've been trotting for a while, and all the instructors say I'm doing good. I'm mainly practicing diagonals now. Whenever I tell people I haven't cantered yet they all are surprised and can't believe it. The instructors say I have be able to ride outside of the stirrups. My father-in-law, who was a jockey years ago (he's 88 now) says "baloney, just tell them you want to canter". I realize just because he's a good horseman doesn't mean he knows anything about teaching. Opinions?? Do I have to wait?
2. I don't own a horse and take lessons with the stable horses. As I'm 57 yrs old and overweight (230 lbs) I was told the saddles they use are too small for me and I would do better with a bigger saddle. Most of the students are teenaged girls. The person who told me that runs the tack shop on premises so he might just be saying it to make a sale. Opinions? Would a bigger saddle really help. I'm tired of getting 4th and 5th place ribbons!! (LOL)