Fear of Loping--Need Some Advice!
I am a novice rider and am currently in lessons. I have a 15 YO QH mare who's also in training for some tuning up :) We're both coming along nicely. Anyway...the first time I ever loped with a horse, she took off across 5 acres of pasture without being asked and I flopped like a rag doll since I froze until she reached the barn (yes, barn sour!) So...I'm now nervous about it. I've been working on the trot, both posting and sitting, and am much more comfortable. For my lessons I'm riding an OTTB (in an indoor arena) who's doing quite nicely, but I'm the first student to ride her off the lunge line. Though we're both doing well, last night we were trotting well and she broke to a lope...first time she did this we were on the lunge line and it felt like she may be starting to buck me but of course she wasn't. I didn't fall off and she stopped when asked. Well last night she didn't stop, and I got nervous (part of it was my fault as I couldn't relax to tell her with my seat, I was balancing on the horn, and she doesn't have a 1 rein stop installed as she's more of an english horse and has only been ridden western a short time). Our trainer stopped her from the ground and afterward we went back to our pretty trot and ended on a good note. On the bright side, she did have a nice lope, stayed relaxed and didn't go into race horse mode, but I can't seem to relax due to fear. Over the next few weeks we're going to work up to the lope on the lunge line again so I can be prepared should something like that happen on her or my own horse, but I'm nervous. I want desperately to learn to relax and progress in my riding. I would appreciate any help and advice!