Keeping up in a fast canter-long
So I'm having a bit of a hard time keeping up with the Arab I lease in a fast canter. I'm pretty green, and have only been riding 10 months. But I ride 4 times a week, have been practicing lots and am still taking regular lessons. We do great in the trot, being on the right diagonal, directions, etc. My trainer says we look good. I've been cantering for a while also, so we've started working on finesse and transitions within the canter- slow to fast and vice versa. We are practicing half-turns, circles at different speeds and figure eights in a canter. One of the big things I'm supposed to be working on is a fast canter, followed by three (or x) strides of a slow, collected canter, and then moving back up again to a higher speed.
Here's my problem: things are fine and dandy in the steady canter at moderate speed, then we go fast, and things just fall apart. I bounce, my legs come forward a bit, and all of a sudden it is NOT SMOOTH AT ALL. Thing is, I'm perfectly fine in two-point at a fast canter, and we do it on a regular basis. Also, I work no-stirrup every other ride. The horse I ride is very, very bouncy- my trainer says he's her bounciest horse. I've ridden several of her other horses, she has some that are smooth as butter- and I have no such problem with them!
Regardless, I think not being able to keep up with him at a fast canter- no matter if he is super bouncy or not- is a reflection on my level and I would like to know how to fix it. I've been working on it every ride, and I can't really tell if I'm improving- sometimes I think we are and then the next time I feel we definitely didn't. Obviously when I sit the fast canter and bounce I'm unbalancing the poor guy, and then I have to transition down to re-stabilize and start over. So I'm wondering what kind of things I could do on or off him that would help me stay calmly in the saddle? I tried to see if I was gripping with my knees and I'm doing the exercises to prevent that. I also figured I was tensing up, so I've been doing things like pretending my belly is like jelly (or variations haha) and they might help a bit but I'm still bouncing. Like I said, we do regular two-point and no-stirrup work, and I've made triple sure with other trainers that my stirrups are not too short.
Any ideas? Every comment welcome!