It was that and many other horrifying experiences that molded my feelings on Western Pleasure horses. I have had a very bad taste in my mouth (so to speak) about Western classes since then.
It is posts by people like Oh Vair Oh that helps me to see the good in the "other side" of things. I appreciate her open, honest, not defensive approach to teaching what there is to love about Western Pleasure. The video's that you posted of Jamie Novak were great. I love seeing what goes into it from a "good trainers" standpoint. Seeing the last video of the guy with the horse that appeared to move so crippled it could barely stay upright, is what I have seen first hand all too often. I also find it refreshing that someone who loves the sport or discipline also finds fault in the things that I have seen as bad about it.
I can now look at it with more of an open mind and know to look for the "good trainers" and appreciate their efforts to do right by their horses. Now, I always knew that those existed as well. Let's face it, there wouldn't be that many people in it if it was all cruel hands and spurs. People that love their horses as much as I love mine also like to ride Western Pleasure. It can't all be bad.
I am not yet to the point of wanting to ride like that. Other then the outfits which I LOVE. I think at this point it seems boring to move that slow but I appreciate the work that goes into it. As I get older I have learned to never say never. I might some day want to give Western Pleasure on a Quarter horse or Paint horse a try. Who knows what the future has in store for us.
Thank you Oh Vair Oh and others who have talked openly about the discipline that you love and what goes into training and preparing for it. I would love to hear more of that.