Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: ~*~ NEBRASKA ~*~
How long has your mare been working under saddle? I'm just asking because a lot of times when a horse doesn't like to canter, especially not for very long, it's because they haven't built up the muscle tone or the stamina to do it. It's one think to canter around in turnout without a rider or any encumbrances, but with a rider and gear a horse has to learn to carry themselves correctly and develop the muscle tone to do so.
Think of athletes. It takes a long time for them to build up to great levels. A gymnast can't just start vaulting after a few weeks, they have to develop balance, strength and skill. Many horses take well over a year to carry out a correct, balanced canter for any length of time. Cinny has been under saddle a little over a year and we are still working on cantering correctly. It's a patience thing, especially when you want your horse to be correct and balanced.
The same thing goes with the bending, it's all about muscle conditioning and balance. Do you have a trainer working with you? It would be a really big help if you did. If not, try to cut you and your horse both some slack. Take a deep breath, be open to learning and give yourselves time to develop.