I hate gimmicks.
Specifically, training gadgets to get a horse’s head down. I hate it because I feel like I lived it, although no one would have ever accused me of rollkur or tying my horse’s head in the stall or anything like that. German martingale? Used it. Draw reins? Used them. Different bits? Oh sure. I never abused my horse, but I am guilty as charged for using training gadgets improperly before I was taught properly to ride leg to hand.
Now this doesn’t think I mean all training devices are bad. Lunging in side reins is one of my favorite tools when done properly.
And draw reins aren’t necessarily the root of all evil. They have their time and place in the hands of someone who knows what they’re doing.
But even good tack can and devices can be used as a bad shortcut. Maybe it isn’t gimmicks that I find annoying, but the ways people can try to take shortcuts with their riding? This is not exactly the same picture of side rein usage like dear Simon above (although I’m not saying I use side reins perfectly with Simon – but never like this).
And any horseman will tell you a martingale is not an evil object. That’s the only somewhat superfluous tack I ever use… but no one in their right mind will say this usage of a martingale is proper or OK.
Not trying to turn this into a discussion of how abusive horse trainers can be, but if I had to pick a pet peeve about riding it would be people looking to devices, drugs, tricks, or anything that will shortcut hard work and proper training.