Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: New South Wales, Australia
I don't think it matters when you learn riding. Some people who learn as kids are great riders, others are bad, and the same with adults.
I imagine they were just trying to help. If I saw someone with a horse running off I'd probably say the same thing. You can't get a good canter from a bad trot, and running into canter is a bad and annoying habit. If you've messed up your transition you should re-collect, steady again and ask in the corner. Running into the canter is a very very common problem.
If your transitions are your weak spot then just work on them, trot then ask for a canter, canter for five strides, back to trot, or walk, then canter again. I actually had far more success with transitions doing walk-canter.
Just keep at it.