Are your legs and hands, on both sides, working together to keep the horse on the Track, both on a straight line as well as on a circle or a bending line?
This is what keeps the horse in front of your leg and connected to your hand.
It is as vitally important to creating and maintaining Track-Momentum-Balance as the lateral connection and is solely responsible for control and length of stride and helping the horse to find Center Balance.
The lateral and longitudinal connection is what puts the horse into the Box. If you can accurately maintain your horse in that box at all times, you have self-carriage and fluidity throughout anything you choose to do with your horse.
Timing and Feel:
Is what knits all of it together! It is the ability to use the aids in harmony with each other, and with the timing of the horse’s footfall, to create the symphony that makes your horse be soft, light and responsive.
Remember, the more you bend your horse the straighter it will get. Ideally you should spend about 80% of your time in the saddle working on bending, counter bending, shoulder in and out, leg yields, shortening and lengthening of stride in all gaits and transitions, and only 20% going in the same pace on a straight line. Riding is 60% in your Head, 30% in your Legs and 10% in your Hands. If you keep those equations balanced your horse will always be happy to work with you.
No matter at what level you are riding, achieving that harmony should be a top priority with horses; it leaves them working with us in rhythm and balanced and happy to do their job. Always remember in their world they do not need any of this, but it is our responsibility to do right by them when we invite them into our world and ask them to perform for us.