have you ever ridden western? just a question not an insult
when i ride my horse and i get him into a comfortable easy lope his head goes down so his back and his neck are level and he is smooth like a rocking chair almost this lope is easy to control looks nice (if its done properly the show judges have blown it all out of proportion) when the cowboys used their horses for cattle herding it was easier for the horse to cut the cows if their head was lower the ground so they could move their legs quickley and separate the cows efficently. If you have ever watched cutting the horses heads are low to the ground as they move.
SO the horses having their heads down during a lesiurly lope was desirable then it got into peoples mind the lower the head the more points so thats why in the shows the horses look like they are smelling the dirt the whole time.
Also (this isnt usually used in western pleasure but its somethign to do with the reason the heads are low) when western riding the horses have something called a tie-down it prevents them from throwing their head up, its not a hurting device and not all horses use it, it keeps the horses head at a certain level
so say you are running barrels with a horse with no tie-down the horse goes around a barrel and throws his head up causing his legs to not be able to move as much as you would like resulting in a knocked over barrel or a dangerous turn in which both horse and rider could get hurt, now put a tie-down on that same horse and he keeps his head low abling him to reach farther with his legs resulting in an effective and safe turn,
i personally dont like western pleasure that is a joke (no offense to anyone who does it) and i agree with you the horses look like the have no spirit no originality it all looks the same
i hope that made sense to you i tend to jump around when i talk lol
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Truly War Paint-Arabian,QH,TB,Paint,Barb-Diablo