I'm not misunderstanding. I mention it because it happens. They're separate issues that both happen... those are cranking the head down thinking it's collection, and those that are just hurrying hurrying along horses. Just because your horse can probably do a semblance of piaffe doesn't mean it's ready to.
In fact, I know EXACTLY what you're talking about. I had a few months training with an instructor that trained under PHilip Karl's Légèreté instructor courses. I learned lots, some stuff I still use. But especially the idea of lightness in the mouth and the front. (I even do some little things that bother one of my two coaches, like using my noseband super loose lol)
Then I found a pair of classical coaches. (but not the Légèreté style) Maybe you'd consider it german, I dunno. But they follow a natural order of things. Rhythm and relaxation first. Those are the fundamental aspects of the training pymraid. It's not unique. I achieved that relaxation by letting him stretch out and down. Trust me, there was no "forcing down." Open throatlatch, lifting shoulder being my goal. Properly being stretched out and down does not mean being on the forehand so the 'unnatural weight on the forehand position' is never something we want to encourage, no matter the breed.
I've posted conformation pictures of my boy before. If you're interested, take a look. His neck is built up and out of his shoulders. But don't get me wrong, I think he enjoys stretching so it's made easier for me anyways. Like I said, my focus was always relaxation... my issue now is that we're TOO relaxed. Need some more positive tension in the both of us!
I don't think the problem lies in the proper classical training system that follows the pyramid. The problem are coaches (like the one you had first) who are so obsessed with head cranked down, and running them off their feet. Not the method.
Like I said, I've had the opportunity to try both methods, both methods taught CORRECTLY. And you know what I found? They are both so so so similar. Someone once gave me these analogy for two of them, and you know what? It perfectly fits.
Think of learning how to ride a bike. You can learn two ways. You get on, someone pushes you, and with that forward momentum, you learn to find your balance. ("german" way) Or, you go slowly, pedaling carefully until you find your balance, and then you go forward once you've found your balance (the "french" way as per PK). Both ways are correct, both ways you learn to balance with energy.
But of course, both ways must be taught correctly to make a fair comparison. Which, to me, it doesn't sound like you had the opportunity to.
Last edited by teamfire; 05-13-2013 at 05:19 PM.