Any fans of The Weakerthans out there? They are a sweet little Canadian band that you should check out if you like clever folky rocky music. The lyric "I wait in 4/4 time" from their song "Left and Leaving" has been running through my head for the past two days.
Now that I'm convinced Tonka is an ex-pacer I have new insight into the way he moves. Ideally the walk should be a symmetrical four beat gait with equal intervals between hoof strikes. Rear left, front left, rear right, front right -- the equine equivalent of 4/4 time. This is true of Tonka at a slow walk, but when he speeds up his lateral legs begin to strike in near-unison so that the representation above begins to look like this:
I have been trying to put my finger on this fact for the past three months, but it wasn't until I started to watch lateral pair of legs at the walk that I really understood what's going on. Does he do this to minimize pain as his front toes strike? Is it a habit embedded in his muscle memory, or is he still hurting?