Originally Posted by JustDressageIt
*sigh* I have figured out that I'm just expectin too much too soon. She's really only been "under saddle" for the length of time I've had her, which is approaching 5 months....I've realized that I'm just too much of a perfectionist and want it all RIGHT NOW! And I have to just relax and enjoy this learning experience.
I'm virtually positive that you just identified the problem right there, which is that you don't really have a problem at all. I was reading down through the thread and thinking this already when I came to this post.
I nearly have my Ph.D. In this subject.
My horse, Buster, had major issues with speed control in all gaits due to years of poor training before I got him. In fact, his owner gave him up because he was basically uncontrollable. Fortunately, a very experienced horseman (not me by any means) got Buster to where he was at least rideable before I started riding him.
Anyway, I worked on speed control, with canter being the hardest, for about three years. And I did it following exactly the same things you are doing right now. Buster has the most wonderful slow lope now and I consider it to be our crowning achievement together.
When I got frustrated along the way, I just reminded myself that these challenges are all part of the beauty and mystery of working with horses. I knew that I was in for a long job. Frankly, there were lots of times when I didn't know if I would ever succeed, but I tried to embrace the whole experience and celebrate even the tiniest successes.
Good luck. I'll bet that you will report back soon saying that her canter is smooth and as slow as you want.