I think people get to sensitive. Any form of riding is fine, so long is the horse does not show signs of abuse, although, i think the big lick pads need gone in the gaited breeds.
it is not like the slider shoes to protect the hoof or heels.
I hate seeing the dancing horses, with their sides all spurred .
I have had people make fun of my Morgan, Quarter, TB, Appy,and Paint. I just smiled and said oh well you're just jealous. My horses are great. They work perfect for me. and walked away.
When I was a teenager, I partial ran a boarding stable, Owner travelled a lot, and there was a gorgeous black and white mare kept there. She had a little bit bigger than normal ears, but nothing shocking. The owner would let me ride her once in a while.She was so sure footed and nice to ride. I almost peed my pants one evening, while feeding carrots she did a soft whinny and then she brayed and brayed and brayed !