Exactly Spyder - I most certainly do not believe I had a go at the European way of training? Considering a short time ago I was offered to go over there for a few months to ride and was very upset to not be able to do so due to financial limitations - If I thought every German trainer was rough and tumble, beat the hell out of their horse to get results, I wouldn't have considered going.
It IS true, that there are some (as in every culture) that are rough about their training, and I think because of the German 'straight down the line' personality, plus their presence in the spotlight of the global dressage community, we tend to pick up on the less desirable mannerisms portrayed by some trainers there.
As for going through horses - Anebel that is NOTHING nasty towards Europe!! If the top riders there have got the $$'s to only play with the REALLY talented horses, then they CAN afford to just pass off the duds to the next rider down. WHy waste your time and effort on a horse that isn't going to make it without excessive hard work, when the next horse offered to you is Totilas?
But us 'commoners' have to make do with the horse we have got, we don't have the financial backing to just sieve through horses like they're grains of rice until the perfect, World Cup winner comes along.