If you are getting "jerked around" by your rig, you can add a bit more downhaul to "loosen up" the top of the sail and flatten the lower portion to depower the sail pretty much from top to bottom.
Be sure to readjust the outhaul whenever you change the downhaul to keep enough
tension to stabilize the sail.
Additional downhaul is nearly always better than additional outhaul if easy handling in higher winds is your goal.
Carbon content can also result in a more responsive mast. I would think a very low carbon content mast would feel a bit "dead" by comparison.
Anyway, your progress here sounds phenomenal. Hooked in and mostly in the footstraps
in 3 months is pretty darned good.
More time on the water will make things easier, and also give you more experience "tuning" your gear to get the best performance and the easiest sailing.
Hope this helps,