[QUOTE=Oldhorselady;2065721]Thanks Desert and BSMS....I really started feeling like a failure and not being smart enough to ride my horses. I think I will go to the roundpen. I'm not scared of riding Belle's faster trot, I'm scared of her going into the canter and doing her crow hop or lead change and me falling out of the saddle again. I also made the mistake when I first started asking for the canter, of running the diagonal down the arean towards the gate to get her to speed up. So, now when we are in that corner and she speeds up, ever so slightly, I panic. I hold her back and she babysits me, no wonder she won't canter with me....either of us are ready for that.
BSMS, I am with you, learning to ride later in life, after my body is already set in it's ways. I agree that it's so different teaching an old person to ride than a ten year old. I guess I associated that I was doing it right with my horses because the outcome was usually what I ask.....as far as turning, yielding, backing etc. It's going forward that I'm screwing things up with my own body. Well, actually all of it, but that's where I've had the problems...lol.
Desert...I'm still unemployed, so I have plenty of time to
Cantering.....I had an OTTB old type, strong bone, good size, a really really long, groundcovering walk...and canter. If I , and others, for that matter, didn't catch his first stride properly, I would stay about 4 inches above the (western) saddle with no chance to find my seat. So, I was very reluctant to canter, of course. It took another horse to get my confidence back to the point of cantering the TB again.
And it is absolutely true that horse won't canter if rider doesn't want to.
Ride in the roundpen, and, as you get more confident, go in the arena, on a good size circle, and canter towards the closed side, corner- fence, never to the open side or the whole arena. Your horse is easier to control and easier to get on the right lead. But only when your belly tells you to. All my mishaps, falls, happened when I was told to do something and did even tho my belly told me not to.