Max was incredibly well-behaved at the cross-ties. Actually he's been really good lately compared to how he was before. Perhaps he's just settling in and getting used to things. It's funny how I feel like I've had him for a long time as opposed to a few months. I need to remember that..
I told J about our problems in canter depart to the right so she had me work on my position right away. She had me get him forward and our diagonals coordinated. Then we did some spiral work in the trot - using the inside leg and outside reign for bend and steering. Something important she pointed out was that the inside leg must always be applied before outside reign so we are riding back to front.
After spiraling inwards with a good bend, she had me spiral out and about part-way to the wall ask for a canter depart. This way there were two things that helped greatly in fixing our canter departs. One, my position was stronger because my right seat bone and inside leg were already working with my outside reign. Two, he was bending and his outside leg was already actively stepping forward and out. He did do the rushy-rushy thing a couple of times, but she had me try again and finally we achieved a great canter depart.
We alternated a lot between right and left so I could figure out what I was doing correct since our left leads were great. Going to the right I'm weaker and tend to slant forward instead of sitting back, keeping my legs steady and applying a strong seat bone.
Definitely found out why we were having trouble with the right lead canter departs, but it is not something that can be fixed in a couple of rides. Luckily we have allll winter of arena work to get into tip top shape for spring!!