Taran is half Fells Pony, and it shows up in his trot. His usual trot is this tiny, mincing gait, with no reach and not much forward movement.
Fells Pony x TB = Llama?
He’s also quite stuck in his shoulder, an affliction which may in part be left over from when he stepped on a nail 5 years ago, had surgery, and spent months limping around on his RF.
Stuck in the shoulder.
On the bright side, Taran has an excellent tempo that requires very little management on my part, unlike certain Haffies who require micro-management of every step lest they barge off down centerline (ahem).
In our regular rides, Taran has started to relax his shoulder and stride out more, which is exciting. He’s better going left, probably because his RH doesn’t step under as well (we’re working on that). I’ve asked him for a little lengthening now and again, and while he does try for a bigger step, it’s only marginally bigger, and not really what I’m looking for.
It takes some convincing, but this is now his "normal" working trot.
It is SO HARD to be Taran.
So last weekend, hubby and I were out on the trails and I wanted to try something new. We had Brego go first at a canter, and I brought Taran behind him, but kept him to a trot (Brego is a wee bit slow lol). His trot got bigger… and bigger… and bigger… until suddenly it was like someone unlocked all his joints and he was REALLY moving out! His back had so much swing, and his shoulders really came up and out – the difference was amazing! We only did it for a short time because I’m sure it was hard for him, but I was able to ask him several times and get it. In my head it looks like a Grand Prix extended trot, which is probably not the case, but it’s definitely better than his mincing pony trot!