Originally Posted by bilyeuamber
There are a lot of things about pleasure that are unnatural for the horse. (no offense anyone) The pace is very unnatural and lots of pleasure horses come up with navicular because of the unnatural way that they are trained to perform. Some horses naturally hold their heads lower because of their conformation, but just as many are trained to keep their heads lowered. That is why training forks and draw reins became so popular.
There are a few things I would have to dissagree with here. Don't get me wrong, I personally would like to see a more forward jog and lope...but I have to point out a couple things that you said. The navicular topic... I've never come across that sort of accusation. Its completely innacurate.
Training forks (martingales) and draw reins pre-dated the pleasure craze. They have been used in every dicipline from hunter/jumpers and dressage to reining and,yes, barrel racing. These aides gain bad reputations based on the incapable riders who handle them. Riders who don't understand the proper way to use them.
Just figured I'd share...