Training Balance at the Canter Undersaddle-We fell down
I am new to training, and I am working with a trainer for my mare- but she isn't out until Wed, and I'd like suggestions to mull over until then.
Bonnie was supposedly given 60 days with a pro about 1.5 years ago, but she did not seem to know anything, so we started her from the ground up as if she had never been trained. She will be four in march, and is a rescue (starved).
I have never started a horse before, so I have been going very slowly. I had 5 years of lessons, but I've had about 3 years off horses before I got her, and am out of shape. I've been taking lessons on my trainers older horses to catch back up.
I did lots of ground work for the first month- got her used to the saddle, and my rope bitless bridle, lunging, leading etc. We spend another week just mounting and dismounting- not moving, them worked on go, whoa, steer at the walk for 2-3 weeks more. We have been working the trot for about 2 weeks now, and she is solid. She is super responsive to cues, and does not like me to be off balance- she shifts under me, or stops if I get off to the side at all. She is not spooky at all. I am VERY proud of her (and me) as we are learning together.
Yesterday, we were working the trot in the outdoor arena. It is very fine gravel/sand. She was moving out so well, I cued her to canter for the first time, which she did beautifully. We cantered around once, transitioned down to the trot, the walk then whoa. I worked about 10 more minutes at walk trot transitions, then asked for the canter again. I *think* she picked up the wrong lead in the front-she stumbled and went to her knees. I felt her falling, and kicked my feet out of the stirrups, meaning to hop clear. I *think* I somersaulted over her shoulder. I remember hitting the ground, then it is all blurry for about 10 min. My BO helped me up and back on her. He led us around once at the walk, the I got off.(I don't really remember that.) She is fine- wasn't even spooked, just grazing on some weeds like 1 min after it happened. Checked on her today- not hurt at all thankfully. I was wearing my helmet- I always do, so I'm not too hurt- just pulled muscles, and some nasty "road rash" from the gravel- I'm limping pretty good though. I landed hip first, then my back, then my head, so my hip is pretty torn up. I know I need to buy a new helmet now- stopping at the tack store tomorrow hopefully.
I called my trainer and asked her about it, and we both agreed that we should work canter in the indoor where it is a much softer landing. I am not scared or upset or anything, but I am wondering...Are there good excercises I can do from the ground (until I heal a bit) that will help her balance better with a rider at the canter? She takes the correct leads nicely on the lunge now, and had a lovely easy canter the first time around undersaddle. My trainer kind of feels like she needs to just learn how to do it by doing it more, and I will probably have the trainer ride her for a bit, as she is a more advanced rider than I by far (and has an eventer's vest). :)
I am trying to learn as we go, so any suggestions on how to help Bonnie, or even and ideas about what went wrong are welcomed, and will keep me from getting too stir crazy while I am gimping about. PS: I know the green on green= black and blue, which is why I enlisted a pro to help, but I want to learn with her, and I know she didn't mean me to fall off, it just kinda happened.