This one is painful to watch. Horses moseying around the arena at a painfully slow pitter-patter, barely lifting their feet up more than 2 centimeters off the ground at any given time. Do they even have a pulse?
When you take pictures of a horse and you can't tell if he's is trotting or cantering, there's something wrong. And when the rider's legs are so straight they almost make a perfect "V". I don't know how they keep their balance in those buckets. I found this article really good. Hmm... where have you heard that before? And WP people say that it's a natural gait. In reality, it's nothing but a trend. A fashion statement. The article really puts it into perspective.
WP people also say you can see babies going at that stick-legged pace.
Have you ever seen a colt or filly puttering around a wide open pasture like an old jalopy with his/her head at knee height? I never have. I see baby horses running around like ecstatic maniacs. Never in my life seen a nerve-dead foal. Does this filly look like those robotic zombies? She looks pretty lively to me. Won't stay that way for long if she's bought by a WP rider/trainer, but you get my point.
How about Hunter Under Saddle? Their equitation is hideous. The horses look half dead. It's an English hunter class. The horse's head shouldn't be lolling down by his knees. Nor should they be heavy on the forehand or have next to zero impulsion. Look at this. Draping reins. Every single one of them. Did they forget that it's an English class? There's supposed to be a straight line from your elbow, through your forearm, to the reins and to the horse's mouth. In that video, I see a languid, puppy-pawed mess. I just got back from a judging seminar. I know for a fact that that's not desirable. But the judges have to place somebody. They make their selections from the lesser of the evils. It goes back to that article on Western Pleasure. It all correlates. It's a trend. There's nothing elegant or beautiful about it.
I also agree that judging standards should be reformed. I really hope some much-needed changes will be made and the show industry might take a step in the right direction.