Great thread Muppet!
I have changed some things over the years from what my grandpa did 50 years ago (mainly chucking out the sweet feed of years gone by and just using a rb when needed to make up for a bad hay year and trimming hooves through winter) but most things aren't all that much different when it comes down to it. Basic needs are basic needs and their basic needs are no different today than they were 20, 30, 40, etc years ago. Science has just given owners just enough to be dangerous.
The nitpicking when riding has always been a peeve of mine. I'm frequently heard saying "Get him where you want him, pitch him away and leave him the * alone". You shouldn't have to constantly be picking at or adjusting a horse, if you need (or feel you need) to do that, there's a hole that should have been addressed long ago.
Oh and *gasp* I still have barb wire around my perimeter fences. I do plan to heat it all up eventually but in 50 years there has been one horse (out of hundreds, if not pushing the thousand mark) hurt on the barb. Now if it were acre paddocks, it would be a totally different story.
Life is like a camera. Focus on what's important, Capture the good times, Develop from the negatives and if things don't work out, Take another shot.