All of this basic work is meant to lay the foundation for the Grand Prix--you are in a sense--riding a Grand Prix horse which does not yet have the physical conditioning to do the GP exercises. The canter departs have to do with the flying changes and the pirouettes--if they are not done correctly now then the fc's and pirouettes will have to be introduced later as something brand new. However, if the canter departs are schooled correctly now, the fc's and p's are a piece of cake. From the beginning the horse should be in self-carriage. In the early stages this is a horizontal carriage but becomes more up hill as the horse strengthens. Never should the horse be allowed to (or taught to) balance on the reins--why create this kind of dependency?
The training must be a systematic program of conditioning with the idea of developing the horse to a higher level of ability--to help him become more flexible, strong, and expressive in his gaits. A great deal of care must go to ensure that the horse's aerobic conditioning has progressed along with his strength building and gymnastic exercises. Of course, along with these fundamentals of dressage, are the considerations of channeling the horse's mind to create a positive mind set to the work. So, all of these considerations have to be brought together in the training and will result in the making of a champion.