I haven't read the response though I'm sure this will have been posted.
Do you have access to an older, more experienced horse? Sometimes starting up on a horse who's done it all and will be forgiving of your riding makes for the best riding, learning experience. It will give you a chance to build up your confidence.
Another option is lunging. Do you have someone who can help you by keep you on the lunge line? Another great way to practice your position and focus on your riding all while the horse is cantering.
Sadly, Lacey is the most solid of any of the horses I have access to. There's only one horse that could have handled it but he's 34 now and in complete retirement except for pony rides with very small children. I actually rode my first truly solidly broke, experienced horse a few months ago, and my, was it a beautiful thing! I totally know what you're saying. Maybe this summer, at camp, there will be a good horse that I can just get into gear and figure myself out. *crosses fingers*
Older than Lacey?!
ROFL!!! I thought the exact same thing.
On the update side of things: I've only cantered in two "sessions" since my last update (I've been focusing more on trotting bareback because I have a feeling that once I get that, cantering might come easier) but both times I've just gone with it. I've tried to forget my fear of her tripping/whatever and just gone. And it's been working well! She hasn't tripped or anything which is building my trust more and more that she won't trip and she hasn't tried falling out! I've been working on rating her around corners and she's doing fantastically with that. Somehow she just does it, she just needs me to remind her to do it. I think it helps that she's really fit and energetic right now so she WANTS to canter, she doesn't want to trot, so I'm getting more out of her because she doesn't want to break gait.
Actually last time, I'm extremely proud of myself for this, btw, she picked up the wrong lead going to the left and I was about to just have her just trot until we got around to my "take off point" but then, I remembered this thread (it's a good sign that I was thinking while cantering too, that usually stops, lol!) and I remembered what someone had said about just keep trying until we get it, forget about the ground that scares me, just do it. So, I just did it. I kept asking her to canter, she kept taking the wrong lead (totally my fault, I'm so trained to ask with my outside leg for what lead I want and I keep forgetting that she's the opposite, inside leg for the lead I want) and I kept bringing her down and asking again. Finally, I realized what I was doing, fixed myself, and she took the correct lead without a problem and we cantered around the entire arena, TWICE, before stopped for the day.
I didn't let my worries get ahead of me and I just trusted us. I probably didn't look super awesome but I was doing it and that's what counts!