Yeah, he probably will have a nice walking horse i can borrow for that ride; i definitely need to get over my anxiety about cantering him, i'm just so used to bracing for the big old buck that i forget to relax and enjoy the moment. I think riding my friends nice calm horse has helped a lot with that, plus my friend doesn't really like riding with Phoenix, shes a bit terrified of him.
A wise person gave me a nice tidbit of advice after my accident with Walka. I needed to "visualize" the next ride how I wanted it to go. Every step, calmly breathing, and Walka responding. I also needed to be aware, but not put to much energy and effort into the "if this should
happen, this is what I will do" scenario. If you know any body builders, they have "visualized" the muscle they are working getting larger and more defined as they work out. It truly works, though sounds a bit new age-ish .
Try this before you ride him again. Visualize the ride and how you want
it to go. Believe it or not, your reflexes and muscles will respond without you being aware, but he will feel the difference. The sureness on your part will give him confidence.
Okay, I'll stop before someone comes to lock me up for sounding nuts. Keep us posted on his and your progress. It gives someone else experiencing similar issues a feeling of validation. No one likes thinking that only they feel that way.