Annette, you cannot imagine how your post on this issue of dressage "form," has cheered and encouraged me.
That complaint by the modern dressage (and the classical people as well) that our bitless horses aren't in proper frame is a constant annoyance.
It's as though these "teachers," do not understand the basic principles of learning and that portion called patterning.
We git a model of something, even an action, let alone the frame a horse is in, and over and over again are exposed to it and no matter if it good or not good we begin to accept it is right ...therefore good.
It's as old as the human race, maybe even back to the ameoba. This is how we learn. We have to for survival.
On the other hand this very trait, if managed, as all live long learners manage to do, is the tool for new learning.
And in learning the new if you, we, hold the facts to be our goal ... know what copious saliva really means, what the bulging muscles at the junction of cheek and neck really are doing, know anatomy and when the horse is and is not flexing softly at the poll, not three joints down the spine, and similar, just as you are writing, then our learning will incorporate these facts into our new learning, and we can let the old go by.
Because I understand how locked in we can be in our vision of what is "correct," I have come to the conclusion that I will soon stop badgering the dressage people, and pointing out the flaws in their facts, and the errors they have inculcated to their model of what "dressage," is and looks like.
Others have tried and failed except for a few that wake up when faced with facts. We may have gotten all those capable of waking up by providing facts and now it is time to move on to something different - modeling.
Put the vision of our bitless, and hopefully +R trained horses out there with our inclusion of the facts of horse anatomy and physiology, and our understanding of physics as it is, not as horse people of wrongly held for so long, out there where it can be seen enough for there to be a rejection, a release, of the old, this, our model becomes the new model and standard.
And pray that one day others of like mind will look back at us and take on the next evolution where even more freedom and beauty is possible with the horse. Imagine if we start to breed for this new model, as the warmblood has been bred for the current modern dressage model. Just imagine.
Where am I going? I am going to OUR shows, OUR events, OUR tests, OUR judges, OUR standards of right and correct and a smile for the protests we'll hear, and just move right along with our model into the next century.
I am inspired to look around me and see if I have any like myself in my geographical region. Not likely but I shall try.
We all should try, and some of us are doing it now. AND has been and probably will continue to be an incubator for this new (and very ancient) way of the horse. More horse, less human. Shaping rather than commanding. Asking with acceptance of "no," when we see it, and asking in a new way.
Best wishes, Don
Love is Trust, trust is All
So say Don, Altea, and Bonnie the Wonder Filly.