Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Alberta, Canada
they are just as capable of learning to side pass, neck rein, etc. I trained a Suffolk punch x Belgian mare that was VERY laid back, and she eventually neck reined and moved off leg.
I think you just have to keep in mind, they were bred to be steady and unflappable. You don't want your carriage/plow horses trying to race off all the time, or for that matter to be too quick and agile, spooking at things. Thus the "slow motion" thing. I have seen videos of Clyde's and other drafts doing basic dressage, they are capable, but you have to factor in what they are.
Drafts are the big trucks of the equine world, powerful and strong, but not overly fast, agile or responsive, where some other breeds, like a quarter horse(the original, cow horse/running type) or arab are more like a Ferrari, quick, agile, and very fast. You would never try to drive a truck like a Ferrari(if you had a brain), nor would you hitch your Ferrari to a heavy load.