I went for another lesson, and would like some advice.
I managed to canter for a few strides before running into some problems. Well, my riding generally sucks so I don't think I can really get very far with cantering if I don't sort these issues.
1) My stirrups aren't too long for me. That's established by my instructors. But whenever I canter. My feet come out of the stirrups; I start panicking cos I am afraid I will lose balance and fall. And I start tightening my grip on the reins, and the horse stops cantering. So why does this happen (i.e. Feet coming out of stirrups) and how do I prevent it?
2) I can't steer the horse when I am cantering. I find that whenever the horse transits into a canter, he will just turn inwards, and doesn't stay on the course. That again sets me off in a panic cos I am so flustered that I can't control the animal :( How do I workl on steering a horse when I am cantering. I am ok with steering during trotting.
3) How do I make a horse respond better to my leg aid? The horse likes to cut corners; I tried my best to steer with my outside hand and apply leg aid from my inside leg; but why does the horse not seem to heed these aids?
I have another problem even when I am not cantering. This happens when the horse is trotting. The horse shakes his head, suddenly lowers his head, or pulls at the reins. Today I got a horse who was very good when I last had him four months back. But even he was playing around with the reins today. He didn't behave this way four months ago when I was a worse rider. I don;t understand what happened. :( How do I get a horse to stop playing with the reins? I tried the give, and pull approach. But this horse seems to be indifferent to everything.
Also, apart from rein control; how else can I slow a horse down or stop a horse? By putting weight into my butt? I.e. Sticking my butt into the saddle? Can I also squeeze with my thighs? I know I shouldn;'t squeeze with my calves.. cos that will make him go faster? But what about squeezing the thighs as I sit deeper into the seat?
Thanks so much for your advice!