Ah, actually, the level croup is a breed characteristic... a more slanted croup indicated power while the flat croup indicated stamina. ;)
I do believe that the modern halter horse is simply a desert horse to the extreme. Yes, fine bones are good for desert travel, wide, dished, and "dry" faces were created for the desert war horse, but too much becomes too much.
Unfortunately no one will change "styles" until the judges do, because that's what wins. Speaking of judging, I think it's very impractical that the horse is running around the handler in the arena, being shanked back, ect. which makes it almost impossible to judge the horse's true movement. I love fire in my arabs but I would still like to see a horse that can WALK on a loose rein for more than a fleeting second.
That being said, I am radically in favor of styles like the Crabbet Arabian, so even moreso I think that creates my general distaste for the skinny spindly legged hooked neck Arabs I see in halter. I have no doubt many people find it beautiful - I am a sucker for the extreme exotic dish of a straight Egyptian Arab and many people find that distasteful!
Truth be told, even out of the performance horses, there aren't a lot of Arabs I like today. I think I'm just stuck in the past and I don't want to let go of those big heart robust elegant athletes I grew up with! LOL
I think a big part of my problem is that I grew up devouring my grandpa's thousands of Arabians magazines from the 1950's to the 1980's. I grew up with a very strong opinion of how I felt an Arabian should look, and loved that SO many National Champion halter stallions also had a prominent title in a performance class as well. It's almost unheard of these days, and the performance Arabian is deviating so far from the halter Arabian it just dumbfounds me - I feel EXACTLY the same way about QH's. I don't understand how the "best of the breed" is represented by horses that are bred with specific conformation to actually limit top notch performance. Every time I see a table top croup I just cringe.
So I'm very curious about something :) I know you say you don't like the whole Pysche lineage because it represents what is wrong with the arab today. How do you feel about the Al Shaqab horses? Or is it just the halter style in general that you dislike?
I agree that people need to go back to where each breeder produced their own "style" that they personally liked instead of the whole industry following one example. I've seen a lot of articles lately about that, so maybe enough people are speaking against the whole situation.
The good news is that most of the halter-bred arabs are also good performance horses, or they were this year at nationals. At least we're not as bad as the QH people.. yet ;)