As riders we don’t plan to have bad timing but as our skill level improves we realize our timing has been faulty.
This is my personal view: lack of experience, awareness, preparation and the release, all influence bad timing.
I’ll give you some examples: I want to pass another car on a two lane highway. In order to pass safely before an on coming car reaches me, I must decide if there’s enough time to pass. I need to be aware of speed and the distance between myself and the on coming car. My driving experience will help me to gauge if I should prepare to burn rubber or wait until after the car passes. If my timing is off and I don’t judge the situation correctly, I could have a head on collision. Thankfully I pass the car in front of me and drive on down the highway. Next a sharp curve comes up. If my timing is bad and I don’t slow down soon enough, I could flip, swerve, spin or fly off the road.
Usually bad drivers are unaware and/or not preparing to either speed up to pass the car ahead of them or release the gas petal and brake properly for the up coming curve. Similarly, bad timing while riding a horse can cause the rider to get too close to fences, obstacles or another horse and rider. I hope my examples have helped you understand why I say a lack of experience, awareness, preparation and the release lead to bad timing.
So how do riders get beyond bad timing? It comes down to riding a lot. You know how familiar you get with the vehicle you drive. Are you as familiar riding your horse as you are driving your vehicle? No? Then you need more time in the saddle.
Your car is an inanimate object. In comparison, your horse is a living vehicle that thinks, gets scared, has his druthers and instantly changes his mind. Preparation becomes doubly important when riding because now there are two entities involved instead of one. This makes “good timing” even more essential and complicated since the rider needs to alert his horse to his desires in plenty of time to avoid a mishap.
Are you preparing your horse so you don’t get rough transitions from one gait to another and releasing slightly to him the second he gets ready to give you the transition you are asking for?