My advice? DON'T CANTER. Falling/injuring yourself/being bolted off with can scare the living daylights out of a person. And sometimes it takes a very long time to get back to what you used to do (I'm talking years). Faith takes a lot longer to repair than a broken bone or bruised butt. What you need to work on in the meantime with your Ole Faithful is having a good seat, 100% percent of the time. At the walk. Do balance exercises. Work on your seat until you learn how to attach your butt to her like velcro (bareback lessons are wonderful). THEN move to a trot on her. Same deal. Perfect the seat before you try for more speed. Leaning forward will only encourage him to run off (though for the life of my, why would they put you on a horse that bolts is beyond me! That's dangerous! A bolter is NOT a lesson horse). Plus, if you're nervous (and trust me, even a little feeling of butterflies when you contemplate cantering will be something he'll pick up on), it's going to key him up in an instant. And do any schooling in a ring or confined space - some horses see the Great Outdoors as a picnic out and act like it's recess.
In a nutshell? Ditch the bolter for now. Go back to the ole Plug. Perfect your seat, perfect your hands, perfect your self-control. When you do that, you'll regain your faith in your abilities, you won't be nervous.
And also - some horses... you may not ever be comfortable doing anything more than a trot on. Don't worry about it. You push yourself just because "I should be able to do this!", you're gonna get a few new lessons in gravity.
Last edited by Tonkasmum; 08-02-2009 at 03:53 PM.