So I think we're finally getting somewhere!
As background - I've had Mater for about 4 years now. Thanks to conformation, joint issues, and a learning owner, he's always been very strung out at any gait. He developed very large chest muscles due to always being on the fore-hand and his butt is only there to give his tail a place to look pretty.
After changing to a more concentrated joint supplement, having chiro work to determine a course of action, a fortune in carrots for stretching and a lot of riding... we are getting there! Today after a warm up he was able to do about five strides of a soft round collected lope. Up until now his lope has always been strung out, fast, and semi terrifying, regardless of how much warm up work he gets.
I'm so happy to be finally seeing a tiny bit of results. I know we still have a loooooong way to go, but it's such encouragement to see a slight improvement.
Tomorrow we aim for six strides of a collected lope!