Ya know what...I love western pleasure. I've ridden dozens of diciplines and trained in several events and Western pleasure is, by far, one of the most technical and difficult to teach.
Many of those who oppose it either don't know about it or don't know about the leaps and bounds that it has come in the passed few years. It's a beautiful dicipline.
I had the opportunity to ride with a WP trainer and train my own horse for it.
The horse I trained for it was all cow bred, but was built and moved like a pleasure horse. Not once in her training did the trainer mention head carriage. It was all and only about collection and forming the muscles to do so consistantly. Counter arcing and maintaining cadence...
Pleasure horse build isnt about having your horse's nose hang as low as it can. It's all about the horse being comfortable and natural in a relaxed head carriage while still being able to maintain an incredible amount of collection.
It is... whether many of you think so or not... Dressage on a loose rein.
Here's the filly, with only a short time in pleasure training. Excuse the attire-When it's cold... I dress comfy. doc delibero video by mrgunsmokeluver - Photobucket
Point being, I never asked her to drop her head. Every time I touched the reins, it was to get her shoulder up. She was a lazy horse and had days where she wanted you to hold her up.
This horse could do more than pleasure. She could also run barrels...eventually being able to clock 2D times before I stopped her training.
She also had an innate desire to work a cow.
But then, on the other end, I rode another cow bred horse who simple was uncomfortable when I asked him to collect and lower his head carriage. It's easy for some horses and others, it's not. The one who had a hard time collecting, was also a 1D/2D barrel horse.