My recent thread on "Draw side or sliding reins" got me thinking about trainers and acceptable tack. I was questioning why a rider was using draw reins with a curb and have since learned that it is a pretty controversial set up. I then started to remember another rider at the same barn who was using a martingale with a cathedral port curb and I'm guessing that is controversial as well. In all fairness I didn't pay attention to how the horse was going because I was too focused on the horse that was ridden in the draw reins (I've never seen them and didn't know what they were). Anyway, this is a show barn and I have heard nothing but good things about the trainer and how he treats his students and the horses. That being said - would this be considered common tack for WP show barns and useful or abusive? Do most winning horses use these methods or do horses ever win without training in this type of set-up? I keep reading about different ways (gentler but more time consuming) to obtain collection but are those ways of training winning at shows? Like I said, this is a reputable show trainer and I assume he produces winning horses. We don't show WP nor have we been to a AQHA show so it is an education for me.
Also, what is the reason for using a cathedral port curb in a show (which I have seen before) if the horse is already trained well? Is it a fear tactic just to make sure the horse doesn't come out of the bridle because the horse is afraid of pain?
What are your thoughts and/or experiences? I am sincerely wondering and don't want to start any thing heated, just trying to learn.