Hope that helps. Sorry if that was a bit of a rant.
Yes, it helps! Don't be sorry!
(I hope it's okay to bring this topic back--I think it's very interesting.)
But I'm wondering now, if there are different schools of reining. I DO see a few Western-Engish trainers who start with contact, (I can't think of any finished horses, though) but many more Western riders who, though using a snaffle, rely more on weight aids and short rein aids rather than a contact, and transitions to teach collection. I know of a trainer who starts his youngsters with the bit quite low, to teach them to carry it. They sort of suck onto it. The aim of all this, I thought, was self-carriage, right from the start. Also, it seemed as though obedience and submission were the main goals, rather than the development of the horse.
We don't have much reining around here, but there are clinics which I've attended.
Now in my dressage experience, the goal is the same self-carriage, but without ever losing the contact. You might even say you start off wanting them to lean into the bit, to look for your hand, in order to teach them to follow your hand, and learn to stretch, and supple. I HAVE seen pictures of dressage riders riding with a looping rein, and I think it's beautiful; I'm wondering just where the training begins to change. With the curb? Or earlier?