We were doing a little arena last week, and every time I asked for a trot, I got a speedy canter. He almost had me off the saddle the first time, there was no transition. It was walk to canter. I ask vocally with a kiss, followed by a light squeeze with my thighs if he doesn't shift gears. The thing I particularly don't like is how much I have to haul on him to get him to drop gears or stop. It's a gradual pressure, I'm not yanking his mouth, but I feel like I'm really pulling back. It could just be that I'm used to Hoover and the other horses who stop on dollars at the ranch. I use a full cheek, btw.
How should I go about getting him to slow down? I'm so excited he feels this good, and I feel like I'm giving him wrong cues...but I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. It seems like he's trying to do what I ask, not acting up, but I guess I don't understand what I'm asking him, and we're both getting confused.