I am so thankful that this has evolved into a discussion rather than an argument XD That's how so many things always seem to end when discussing these types of situations, so seeing that we're both willing to be civilized and have a resonable discussion is such a relief.
I totally agree with you. The WD assosciation really needs to get itself together, but it is SO new (It's been "officially" around since 2008) that it's just have trouble straightening itself out. I've found that WD has been far more successful in-breed (with Morgans) than it has is other breeds, so I am probably a little blind to the problems that arise in open/different breed classes. I do know that there really needs to be a LOT of straightening out though in the near future, and I really hope it successfully evolves into the good things that I'm finding in it already.
There isn't really a lot of show opportunities higher than the basic things, mostly because there hasn't been enough time for people to become skilled enough to actually show at higher levels. It's hard to come up with a competition-ready set of horses which can perform high level movement like piaffe, passage, tempi, ect. At competition level within the time that WD shows have actually been around. Classical Dressage didn't evolve out of thin air, did it? XD
Overall, I completely agree with your post this time around. It really does need time to develope, but they need to start developing faster, because as I've seen from other posts, WD has been given a terrible starting reputation and it breaks my heart a little to see people who think that there isn't any potential in it at all.
Anyway, about the bits.
Horses do collect quite a bit differently in a curb. A very, very slight raise of the hand is all you need to encourage them to flex their poll and engage their hind-end. Because Curb's are so harsh, you can't really have the same contact with the reins as you can in a snaffle or double, plus you ride with rommel reins, which you use one handed. Of course, if you're collecting properly, you still use leg to encourage the engagement of the hind end as well. Like it was said in the quote above, WD riders are expected to have SLIGHTLY more contact with the bridle, unlike in WP where the horse is ridden with almost complete slack and obvious drape in the reins. With English dressage, there (should) be a straight line of contact from the horses mouth, up the rein and to the lower forearm before the bend at the elbow, which doesn't apply to riding with a curb.
Now, what really bothers me is that the WDAA is allowing people to ride a curb with two hands. THAT irks me, and definitely makes me want to tell the WDAA to get it's crap together. It'd be so much more appealing if it was just a little more organized, put together, and thought through XD
I think you missed this Core :)
Also, I actually think that reining/cutting shows a lot less collection than a GOOD, (Morgan) WP rider. You use neck reining to control reiners/cutters, and so far with my experience, I've never heard a single reiner/cutter even mention/seem like they care about collection.
Again, I think we have different opinions when it comes to collection. I believe that collection can vary based on the horse and the discipline, and the collection simply involves being on the bit and engaging a horse's haunches and that his hind legs should be reaching over the places where his front hooves last left the ground in a stride. You, from what I understand, believe that collection is simply as what is defined by the USDF and nothing more. It is true that balance is an important part of WP, but I have NEVER heard of anyone who does WP (Morgan) and does not plan on collecting there horse, at least in the way that WP defines collection. WP riders cannot show the level of extension and "floaty" gaits a dressage horse can-- that's not WP. Collection, in my opinion, it imparative to balance and I've ALWAYS been taught collection when I did WP. Trying to do WP without "collection" would just....uggg...I can't even fathom it.