It amazes me that there is so much controversy around the movement with the head down. It amazes me that in the discussions about this subject there are used only drawings or photos showing horses who are very tense, incorrectly ridden/trained or many times simply in pain to illustrate the “incorrectness” of the movement with the head down.
Any tensed movement will be out of balance, hence ugly.
Any movement realized when in pain, will be out of balance.
Any drawing aimed to show ugliness and tension, will do it.
I really do feel that it is high time to focus on showing real life photos (not drawings!!!) of horses that are TENSION FREE, PAIN FREE, HAPPY and who are moving with freedom and big body balance and body awareness. With head down, and with head up. Both.
There is this very simple truth that if the head can go down, it can also go up. If the head and neck can outstretch forward, they can also come closer to the centre of the gravity of the body.
All the fear built up around the head position of the horse, and all discussions aimed to show incorrectness or correctness of this or that position of the horse’s head and neck BURN DOWN TO ASHES as soon as you see the healthy, pain-free horse with a good body awareness and a good balance.
Such a horse can effortlessly switch from trotting with the head down to trotting with the head up in meters (in the two consecutive photos below it’s maybe 4 METERS distance between the two shots !!!). Such a horse is also well balanced in both movement situations. How come? Simply because his sense of balance is not dependent of the position of the head and neck, THIS HORSE IS IN BALANCE all the time.
Physical Balance of the horse starts from Emotional Balance.
This is why at OneHorseLife we start and base everything we do on CALMNESS, and the effects of it you can see below.