Sitting the canter
Hi all! Got some questions about my canter. But first, a bit of backstory, in case it's helpful.
I started riding June of last year, took 4 lessons, then stopped due to the summer heat. (Riding in 105+ weather? I think I'd like to live, thanks.) I started back up in late fall, and have been riding since. Not weekly, though, due to rain and holidays and such. I only rode once in December and once in February.
I started cantering on a leadline back in, mmmm, maybe early March? My instructor has, pretty much from the start, told me I do it wonderfully. Heels down, head up, rolling nicely in the saddle. I've been off the lead for about 3 weeks now.
I feel like I'm pretty bouncy in the saddle, though - at the very least, I know I come up off it a bit when I roll my hips forward. (But I also weigh 75 pounds. Not much keeping me anchored except my heels, half-chaps and the determination to not go flying. :'D) My instructor says I sit it beautifully, though. Am I supposed to roll forward and back? Is there a way I can stay more secure in the saddle?
Also, my confidence is a bit lacking. I was so blown away when she took me off the lead. I was positive I wasn't ready! I couldn't canter more than a lap without grabbing my saddle pad! How did she expect me to steer? But I did it, because I kind of trust her more than myself, haha.
It. Was. AMAZING. So much easier than cantering on the leadline. No gravity to pull me to one side! Also, it forced me to lift my hands. Total gamechanger.
My horse is a silly old thing, and likes to examine the dust he kicks up. Once he quickly lowered his neck while I was on the lead, sending me flying forward. I had no reins and my only option was to cling to his neck - that, or go tail over teakettle.
Ever since, I've just been.....cautious. I'm not afraid, exactly, I just feel like I'm waiting for him to do it again. His back legs also slip, which throws me off. I love cantering, it's my favorite out of all the gaits so far. The walk is, well, a walk. And who actually likes posting the trot? :'D
Anyway, I guess my question is how do I feel at ease with myself and my horse at the canter?