Let’s take the second question first. If the Friesian’s Rein Back 1) comes from a balanced, immobile, and square halt; 2) if he backs maintaining a round topline without resistance; 3) if he marches back in unconstrained, relaxed (appearing to be) diagonal pairs; 4) if he stays straight; and 5) if he takes the desired number of steps and moves off promptly without squaring up first, you have just made a really good Rein Back! If he steps higher as a function of his breed characteristic and not from tension, the judge should totally ignore it.
I like this question because it’s one I was guilty of asking back in the day. Even watching Major Lindgren the first time at the National Instructors Seminar, I wanted to interrupt and say, “Why don’t you just tell her to . . .?”
This answer is easy, and I doubt you’ll find anyone who would disagree. Colonel Mustard with the lead pipe? Miss Scarlett with the candlestick? No, it’s you with the whip. Here’s why.
The short answer is YES. Followed by a large “But.” Your legs will get stronger; your horse may just become more dull. Lots of times strength isn’t the issue because as has been said many times, it’s not the volume of pressure on the horse’s sides (witness their non-reaction to the girth) that matters. It’s the changes in the pressure which convey meaning.
Many more people wrap their horses than need to. Some sort of protection is in order if your horse tends to hit himself. There’s no point in risking him getting hurt if he’s prone forge or interfere. But lots of people wrap just because they think they should. In the heat of a Florida summer when bandages inhibit your horse’s ability to shed BTUs from the blood vessels which lie so close to the surface, it doesn’t make much sense. Nor is it a good idea in wet or muddy conditions when absorbent wraps make your poor horse carry that much more weight around as he works.
In answer to your question, I think it would have to be determined on a case by case basis depending on what their H/J experience entails.
Sometimes what you witness is “fashion” rather than anything based in physiology or biomechanics. People see it and there’s a “copycat” effect. It makes them feel like they’re doing something.
If I did not know what horse you are talking about, this would be a difficult question to answer. The first matter to address is “Are you being fair to the horse?” If she has very limited turnout with no opportunity to exercise then she deserves to have more than two chances a week to get some attention. Whether it’s you or someone else, whether it’s riding or lungeing or grooming or handling, that doesn’t really matter. It’s not keeping her cooped up that’s important.
The best answer here is “yes.” As has been said elsewhere, for better or worse you are always changing your horse. The real issue is to make sure it’s intentional and in desirable ways.
Whether it’s a CDI which you catch streaming on the USEF channel or a local, low-key schooling show, controversy over whether the winner has deserved to win is par for the course. Everyone has axes to pick and bones to grind so the lack of unanimity in this matter ought not to shock you.