Teaching the physical skill and body mechanics required in dressage is quite different than teaching an animal how to respond. It should be pretty obvious by now that not every great equine trainer is just as talented with the human component. Then again, the trainer in your example may be explaining it 9 ways to Sunday and the rider simply doesn't want to break a sweat.
Ground work is often mentioned on this topic, but really, it goes far beyond that. I know plenty of FEI level trainers (who hold other FEI credentials as well) who can communicate with the horse, but not with the rider.
I will offer as one example a rider I know who wails the everloving crapola out of her horse in an effort to get it to 'go.' (She shows FEI level, by the way.) Her trainer can easily mount the horse and achieve the required 'go,' but said trainer has not, after many years, been able to teach student how to achieve the same result.
This student lacks a very, very, basic skill. I don't think it is too 'beneath' her FEI trainer to expect them to teach her this skill. Especially considering the amount of $ that has passed between them over time.....:rolleyes:
Sure, plenty of people say "I teach folks who are advanced enough....." But what they really mean is, I don't know HOW to teach someone basic skills.
Now this is possibly because they have not broken down the components of those basic skills themselves. Many dressage instructors presuppose/assume and awful lot.....
I don't see anything as an 'assault'. To me it seems obvious. You learn from the trainer that you need
So when someone holds a 'dressage summit' in FL, a part of what they are addressing is all those little bits that are presupposed. And you can get pretty far up the ladder on the 'fake it til you make it' paradigm. With a generous enough horse a pretty darned incompetent person can jump a 3'6" course or muddle through a PSG test.
Much effort is put forth on COTH to assault people who attempt to fill in the gaps that are left by people who don't want to be bothered with the 'little' stuff.'