(a) A good pleasure horse has a free-flowing stride of reasonable length in keeping with his conformation. He should cover a reasonable amount of ground with little effort. Ideally, he should have a balanced, flowing motion, while exhibiting correct gaits that are of the proper cadence. The quality of the movement and the consistency of the gaits is a major consideration. He should carry his head and neck in a relaxed, natural position, with his poll level with or slightly above the level of the withers. He should not carry his head behind the vertical, giving the appearance of intimidation, or be excessively nosed out, giving a resistant appearance. His head should be level with his nose slightly in front of the vertical, having a bright expression with his ears alert. He should be shown on a reasonably loose rein, but with light contact and control. He should be responsive, yet smooth, in transitions when called for. When asked to extend, he should move out with the same flowing motion. Maximum credit should be given to the flowing, balanced and willing horse that gives the appearance of being fit and a pleasure to ride.
Free-flowing stride? Reasonable length in keeping with his conformation? Yikes! Light contact with the reins? Lol
WP has come a long way from all that, baby.
And as far as it all being bred into them... I will admit that I take supreme pleasure in getting WP-bred horses and letting them move like horses.
I heard that originally the WP horse was supposed to be a horse that a cowboy could ride all day. Get a lot done on. In my experience, when I used to let WP riders come to my place to do some riding in a natural ranch setting, all their notions of how their horses should move were changed. If they wanted to keep up with anything else on the place.