Fears can, unfortunately, take a long time to work through. The older we get, the more time it takes. You clearly understand the issues, so just keep working at it, giving it time, and maybe just kick back and just ride at the gaits you are more comfortable with for awhile. I am 47, soon to be 48, back in the saddle for a year after over 20 years out of the saddle. I am learning dressage, and love it. I cantered a few times over the winter on one of the lesson horses at my trainer’s farm (a wonderful Norwegian Fjord horse), and those are the only times I have cantered in the last year. As one who has already had back surgery once, I can relate to your concerns. I have already taken one spill, and got very lucky with only a couple of bruised ribs. It’s definitely not easy, and it doesn’t get easier as we get older! I know I am not as old as you two ladies, but am definitely not a spring chicken! We are still in the saddle for now, and for me, that is the more important thing.