Thank you Rule of Reason, your answer made me realise that whilst I am making things worse at the minute, there are ways to improve things which is definitely a positive thought and which I am definitely going to continue with!!!
And yes, my instructor does tell me to use half-halts to slow her down,and to have a contact so there is no slack in the reins, and use half-halts to steady the pace which I understand the concept of and do use them and will just take it slowly until im happy with it walk and then trot before I head to the canter!
And I do know exactly what you mean about how long these faults take to get rid of; considering I feel like this came on overnight!
And to be honest, I do the majoirty of my walk on a long rein, but with my horse, even when I first got her and she was an angel to ride(without me being awful with my hands) she needed you to have a feel on the reins, a contact with her mouth. Not so much that she needs your hands to balance with as she was and still is light in the mouth but needs you there for support. Well I personally think anyway and as did my instructor who has ridden her a few times. I know the importance of not being overly harsh on the mouth so as to make it 'dead' but think you have to alter this to each horse?? I know I horse who does not like contact AT ALL with his mouth and will go in a steady, lovely pace and turn, slow and speed up on a loose rein but not all will!