Opinions on Headset Expectations
I've heard many different opinions from different people regarding horse headset, and I'm just curious to see what others think here. Some of the most common ones I've heard, not that I specifically agree with any in particular:
1) Any horse, so long as it is relaxed and balanced, should naturally hold its head below its withers (hunters, reining, etc). Nose-tucking or low headset by human force is not acceptable. A horse should never be forced into stretching low, but any horse always will so long as it is comfortable. Warwick Schiller has mentioned things like this quite a few times. A horse that raises its head, such as in jumping, is doing so because it is not relaxed.
2) Every horse needs to have its head either below the withers and/or at the vertical in order to develop topline. If a horse doesn't hold its head and neck in a set position, it won't develop a topline. And if a horse doesn't put their head there on their own, they need to be trained to. I see this most in dressage.
3) A horse can have its head wherever it wants, so long as the horse is comfortable. It is completely dependent upon breed or genetics as to where the horse naturally prefers its head to be, but there is no "wrong" headset as long as it is not caused by pain. I hear this most from trail or endurance riders.
What's your opinion on the subject? I expect this might be controversial, so I'll say now I'm not trying to turn this into an argument, but would like some reasoning behind whatever is said. Thanks!