I believe in training. Shortcuts will come back and bite you later is my belief.
IE; My horse Sasha had SOME shortcuts taken with her. She was trained fairly well, but it's obvious at times that she had "corners cut." Sasha came with a 3 ring bit, and a super short standing martingale. She fought and fought with my trainer and I (and we NEVER rode her with that tiny little martingale!) for a week or so, but then we decided to put her in a French Link Full Cheek. Different horse! She still has her moments where she's a little witch () but it is becoming less frequent, and I've only had her for three/four weeks! Now, she did the 2'6" hunters quite successfully with her old owner so it's debatable, but I believe in training.
However: there are some barn in the area that I'm just WAITING for something terrible to happen with all the shortcuts they take.
THEY PUT FREAKING NAILS IN THE HORSE'S NOSEBANDS IF THEY ARE HEAD-FLIPPERS! NAILS! That's not only asking for a hefty vet bill or a horse with a broken nose and blood all over your equipment, but you are going to end up hurt! What if you do that to a horse and it freaks out? It will probably start rearing and spinning around. I know Sasha would! She would spin around and back up if I half-halted too hard in the 3 ring! They also strap the horse's noses down to their chests. They drug their horses at shows, but sadly, they win at all the "A" shows along the east coast and have medal riders. All for the sake of a ribbon.
Now, I'm not against properly adjusted/properly used training equipment (except for a few, but that's not relevant.) But what do you think? A few glorious moments that may not be worth it later, or lots of pain now training a horse for lots of glory later? What are your "beliefs"?