Ignorant people are prone to these type of remarks from what I have seen.
I lived in Texas for 16 years and people thought I was strange and stuck up because I chose to learn english riding over western. There were lots of those type of remarks from people to me and my friends. I chose English over Western because it appeared that you actually took the time to learn something, which I have over the years. When I moved to St. Louis, we had the privilege of having clinics from a nearby college several times a year where we could take dressage lessons and one of the teachers had spent time in Germany with a dressage trainer and another focused on equitation.
None of this is possible without some kind of Dressage training.
Now that I am older and more brittle, I have been lucky enough to find a barn where I can concentrate on the Dressage part with a qualified trainer.
To me, learning can never stop and that is why I am happy to be following this route.
Most people I have met who made statements like what is in this trail have been the ribbon concious idiots who never learned to ride well in the first place which is one more reason that I am happier doing what I am doing today.