It's pretty difficult for me to tell between the right and wrong lead in the clockwise direction. I know I should be able to, but for some reason, I just cannot tell the difference at all. I've tried to look down at her shoulders and legs, but I still (for the life of me!) cannot tell when she's on the correct lead. Any tips, suggestions, greatly appreciated. Thanks.
When a horse is on the wrong lead(a counter canter) most are VERY unbalanced, unless you have a high level dressage horse. I can usually feel the lead from the beginning, you really have to cue for the correct lead, not leave the door open for the horse to pick up the wrong lead
If your horse is trustworthy, get in a half seat and stare at the shoulders straight down so you can see both at once. Just keep looking untill you think you know, then ask your instructor (or friend, etc.). If you are wrong look again, focusing on the shoulder they say lands first untill you see the difference
It can take a while to tell the difference, but once you do it becomes habit and you will tell easily with a glance, then you can start feeling for the difference and check as a back up.
You should be sliding back your outside leg, not inside. The initial step into the canter for the horse involves his outside hind leg. Your leg cue is to tell that leg to step into the canter. The opposite shoulder is the lead you're asking for. So if you want left lead (left leading shoulder) you slide your right leg back to activate his right hind. Does that make sense?