Hmm...what next? - Limited control under saddle
Looking for some basic advice. I have a 5 year old mare, have owned her since Nov. Last year and have limited riding on her, maybe 5 times? I didn't realize that I had some confidence issues until after I bought her and started using her in the Spring (unsure if she helped add to them or if they were just hiding in my 5 year span of no horse ownership - my last situation had me on the ground more than in the saddle, eek.) Anyway, now I'm to the point where I don't feel like I have control of her while she's under saddle. Out on her pasture, I have limited go and basically no steering, whether that's with a halter, bit (snaffle), or legs. She'll attempt to back, back, back, but that is usually counteracted with a little tap on the rump. I really hate pulling on their faces and mouths, and my lack of confidence is adding to me not getting as big and aggressive (I use that term loosely) as I should. When she's on a trail or a road ride, she likes to get out and move, but I don't want to ride and put myself in a situation where I don't feel like I have control.
On the other hand, when on the ground, she'll walk and trot besides me as I ask her. And according to my trainer, this should bleed over into the saddle, which is apparently why we spent all of my time doing groundwork - yeah...it's not happening.
Side-story: I tried a local trainer where you are doing hands on stuff and training your horse with their guidance. Sure, the ground work was nice and I understand that groundwork is necessary and all of that - to be clear, I appreciate groundwork - but my main goal was to really get some confidence in the saddle and build a better understanding with my horse. Well, after much money spent, there was no saddle time, and I'm back to not knowing anything when it comes to riding.
PHEW. Ok, so my main question is, what do you think of ground driving? Would that seem like the next logical step? Get my mare working off of a halter first with me on the ground and then progress from there? Or what are other ideas? I know I may have to find a different kind of trainer, but I am very gun-shy at the moment, feel like I lost a bunch of money already, and am not sure that I have many local options for what I'm looking for.
Appreciate you reading my little novela :)