I asked her. She said it was because it gets the inside front leg back making it easier for the outside leg to cross over.
Thoughts on this?
ETA: I just realized this was mentioned in the OP.
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That is true you need the inside leg to move back to clear across with the outside. But like it was said before, backing into the spin causes mores problems. I teach them to move that inside leg back by backing a circle. I will stop pick up the inside rein, lets say the left and tip his nose. Bring the right rein back towards my hip and ask him to take a step back. When he he is soft takes a step, or a few back, depending how long I have been doing this with him, I will use my right leg to ask to step across. At first this very awkward for a colt because don't really know where to place their feet. So even if he falls out of it keep them on a small circle. After doing this for a while they learn that when I pick up that inside rein in that body position that he needs to come back with that leg.(this also teaches them to set the hind inside as the pivot leg) and after asking to back around, then I step him across so he understands the inside comes back, the outside goes across. Then I might teach the cross over a little more by using a reverse arc. For example, I will put him in a small circle to the left, arc his body to the right he is forced to cross over with the front to maintain the circle to the left. Then I put the two together. I trot the horse in a circle to left to get the forward momentum, when he is soft and we are in the mind set, I pick up my inside rein and he will move leg back set his pivot foot and I ask him to come across with my right leg. At first I may only ask for a step or two then I will push him out of it. This reinforces the forward momentum and is a reward for stepping correctly. Let him out before he gets stuck. I hope this makes sense, sometimes I can't explain exactly how I do things..lol