Kicking Up at the Canter
Okay, so I have a 13 year old mare who I just really started riding again, I really got her solid on Clinton Anderson groundwork and she responded really well, she's very respectful of my space and really has full attention on me when we're on the ground, she's not spooky at all. Even though I basically have done nothing but groundwork on her for 2 years, once I started getting back into the swing of riding (I had two very bad buck offs from other horses) she started upkicking at the canter (my current trainer calls it crow hopping but I've heard Clinton call it pig rooting at clinics). This behavior started after one of my friends rode her when I wasnt there, another horse was riding in the ring with her and she was cantering off fine before but the other horse started to freak out and then she started upkicking. Since then she began doing it at the trot and eventually the walk. I previously had her in dressage training but made little progress with it after the upkicking started. I think it was just too much for her to handle and she needed to go back to more riding basics. So we found a western pleasure trainer to help us out and she has made considerable progress since then. The upkicking at the walk and trot have stopped and she is starting to get a nice jog and she's beginning to relax more (before she was superhyper like she was on crack) we've started working on the canter in lessons only but she still is fond of upkicking when I tense up on the reins.but she's not upkicking as much as before. My only problem is that im not used to the canter since I havent cantered much since I was bucked off, I can sit her canter just fine but in my head I feel like im about to come out of the saddle and I feel like im psyching myself out more than anything. Would riding more broke horses at the canter help me get over my fear? Should I just keep riding her little kicks through until both of us get over it?
P.s. We have already checked the saddle and it fits her perfectly but she has had poor fitting saddles in the past, she also seems much calmer and relaxed when I massage her back the day before,
P.p.s. We think she might have been a game/barrel horse before her previous owner (really anxious about arenas when I first got her, wouldnt let me put my legs on her, head way high up in the air, really fearful of the bit and whips) and might have been abused (lots of scars on her butt) but we don't know for sure because last owner rescued her from a kill pen