Those springs are tight but I believe they need to be in order to keep the thing up, I don't think I'd recommend shortening them. I am tall so don't have that much problem compressing them, but here's a couple of things you could try: first, once you've got the spring-loaded pole hooked into the front ridge pole, try starting the canopy pole at a significant offset from perpendicular -- shortening the pole, in effect -- then slide it sideways into place. Second, use a forked stick or rake to lift the canopy high before setting the canopy pole into place -- again, shortening the pole. I put up my center poles first, which holds up the canopy while I fiddle with the other two. I find the roof on my 2010 model 1006 is plenty strong enough to handle the tensioned poles.
Now if there was just a way to get rainwater to run off the canopy and not pool heavily in it....