first of all, I am a bit confused, OP. you say you have these two diferent women offereing advice. which one is saying you should use a Kimberwick? which a training fork? and did they explain why?
English riders ride with more contact becuase for one thing, the bit leverage to it is one to one, while the shanked bits used in traditional western riding, is magnified. this means that a very small amount of "feel" on a western rein will bring more sensation to the horse , so you , in theory, can give signals to stop, turn, flex, etcetera, with just a slight lift of the looping western rein. and neck reining does not involve contact to the mouth at all.
So, that is one reason why one style rides the way it does as opposed to the other. also, the archetypal cowboy , riding in loose reins with a curb bit, maybe with a high ported curb, has gone through the process of training the horse to that bit, which involves either using a bosal or a snaffle, then moving on to the neck reining with a curb.
In any case, even riding on more contact does not mean you "hang" on the horse's mouth, or at least, you shouldnt. you have to learn to have a following contact. you stay in close and moving communication with the horse. it's really a wonderful way to ride, once it becomes second nature to you.
I would personally give the first trainer a bit more time. if you want to open your vista more.
Edit: reread this post and realized I had left out some words , so it didnt make sense. my bad. put in words.
Last edited by tinyliny; 05-12-2014 at 10:18 AM.