Why does anyone who's had a passing glance at WP feel obligated to criticize the entire discipline, while simultaneously ignoring the thoughts and experiences of those who regularly follow, participate and enjoy the sport in question? So discouraging.
It's the same as anyone who's had a passing glance at Dressage. What we ask of our horses must be unnatural and disgusting. Everyone must rollkur their horses to achieve what they do. I'm sure if you head over to the Dressage section you'll find this exact same conversation. Or over to the Gaited sections - there's a ton of hate towards people who do certain things in that discipline that even if they DON'T conform to the harsh training gets lumped into one "crap sack."
Every discipline has people who don't like it & people who do. Not everyone is going to conform to an idea that it has to be okay because somewhere
there's actually people who do it right. When all you have experience with is your small local hub of classes - it's going to create a biased mindset. You just kinda have to be content to know that YOU don't do it, even if everyone & their mother does, you are NOT part of that group.
Anyway. That being said - I personally don't like WP. Not my cup of tea. Exactly like how HoF or Dressage isn't yours. Everyone has different interests. Can you admit there are things in Dressage and looks of certain horses you don't like? Yes. I'm sure there is/are. Just like I don't like the unnatural slow jerky movements & peanut rolling some people still do in WP. Does that mean I think everyone in WP does it? No. I've seen well ridden WP horses that looked natural
and enjoyed how they were being ridden.
Don't want you to feel like I'm jumping all over you >.> But WP isn't the "only discipline" getting attacked. Every discipline is going to be nitpicked when you throw bad eggs in the bunch. I'm pretty sure Roping was getting picked on awhile back somewhere.
And yes, I've owned a pleasure bred horse who liked to carry his head naturally low. That was his comfort zone. I nurtured that and allowed him to move where he felt comfortable. I think that's the biggest thing to remember in any discipline. The horse's natural conformation and asking them to do what's comfortable.
I'm sure where his head is doesn't look "low," but it was lower than all my girls chose. That was his spot where he was collected best, happiest, and working well. I think he looks awesome. Just like I think a happy WP horse looks awesome, or a happy Dressage horse. I loved that Cowboy Dressage video someone posted elsewhere. That horse held his head where he liked it, moved naturally, and just looked like a happy horse. Whew anyway think I kinda started rambling...