I had an old friend that is long gone now and would share tips about riding with me from time to time.
He used to say "son you got to ride to in between" and at the time I had a real hard time understanding what he was trying to say to me.
I got into a conversation with a young student the other day about lead departures (she is 12) and she is doing pretty good on one of my mares.
Now I have this whole thing about keeping the horse evenly loaded in a straight line and getting the horse to track straight with a straight spine and even foot falls.
Well she keeps getting the horse a little sideways after she gets the lead and the horse starts to drift.
So to counter the drift,she starts putting more leg on the horse to keep it from drifting in that direction.
The horse takes the cue of more leg to mean that it was supposed to go faster.
She counters that with pulling back to slow the horse down.
The mare gives pretty well and over-flexes on the bit past the vertical.
So this little girl get her departure just fine, then goes galloping past me,too fast and sideways,bent to the left,on the right lead,over-flexed and all bunched up,getting ready to buck.
I said to her as she reported back in for my review about the run.
Darlin, You got to ride the in between.