So...basically my situation is this:
My riding horse has a LOT of go. She LOVES to run and go and race around all strung out, and my [first] problem is that when our gait increases, I naturally lean forwards as we go faster, even though I know it is wrong. (This, of course, my horse obeys as a sort of cue to go faster.) Right now I'm working really hard on sitting deep, and I'm coming along pretty well.
My second problem is that this horse is stubborn and doesn't respond well to leg pressure. When you use your legs (both individually and together) she takes it as a command to speed up. This, of course, I am fervently working on as well.
Now when those two problems combine, I get this: at the trot, I lean slightly forwards and slightly tense up, so she's getting all strung out, and when I use my legs, she just thinks that means we should go even faster and then she tries to canter and is totally wired when I pull her back, and then it's REALLY hard to get anything accomplished.
I'm coming along with the sitting deep, and she is learning to accept my legs at the walk (we even did a few successful rounds in trot today) but even when I'm sitting deep I always seem to tense at the thigh, and hip, and butt when I use my legs (since they're all connected).
What could I do to relax my upper body and hips while I'm pressing my legs? Besides practise...