I also found she picked up her leads better without a lot of bend through her body......
.......If she picked up the wrong lead or cross cantered, we tried again.
Only know are we beginning to canter circles! Big circles, spiraling in and out. Her canter was still fast, but at least we got all the leads. We're just starting to touch on slowing down to a more "rocking chair" like gait.
I have an OTTB that is doing this same thing (picking up correct lead in a straight line. He also lands on the correct lead over a jump; again a straight line). When yours picked up the incorrect lead and you "tried again," did you slow to a trot to change, or do something else?
My 6yo, only been off the track for 18 months TB has a "tendency" to get quick, especially to the jumps. His canter also is pretty quick.
We jumped the 2nd day after he was trailered to the farm. As we went over each jump, he would get quick to it. He knew what I wanted him to do and he did it (jumped)...but I could tell that he felt like he needed to be quick to the jump just to get over it. I hopped off and took things slow: we walked around the ring, we walked over polls (no problem), walked over x-rails (no problem), then we walked to the vertical (about 2ft) and he hesitated. I calmly coaxed him to WALK over the jump....and he did! When his last foot made it over (good boy!), his breathing was accelerated.......we walked a couple more polls, the x-rail, and came back to the vertical. This time he walked over it no problem. We have done this now for the last 3 days (I'll walk him over jumps before riding). His canter has gotten slower, and he is all around more comfortable in the jumping ring.
Good point about the round pen, we'll do some work there too, just to change things up and keep it interesting!