Thanks for the feedback but I'm afraid I probably won't work on this mod again.
Here's my reasoning about the specifics, if you're interested:
About shields, I somewhat agree that they should not be dropped during attacks, but for the game it's necessary. In Warband, characters are vulnerable while attacking, so the animation needed to show that. As for thrusts to the stomach, if I remember right, the stab does actually extend out to shoulder height - I animated most of my attacks to aim for the shoulder since that gives the greatest reach.
For polearms, I used a circular recovery movement so that spamming would at least look physically possible. The game allows you to spam attacks from the same direction rapidly, and the fastest way to do that in reality is to circle the weapon around your head. It might not be the best solution, and I did have other ideas, but that's what I went with in the end.
There are things I'd change about all the animations in my mod, and the polearm animations are the ones I'm least happy with. But a lot of my decisions came from limitations of the game mechanics - if you look at the start of the thread you'll see that those limitations were the reason I started the mod.
And for the record, I didn't take references from reenactors
My designs came from the game mechanics and my own (limited) knowledge of European martial arts.