Yes, dropping the head like this when Monty (or anyone) is working a
horse is a sign of "let me back in". If on the trail you horse is trying
to communicate this to you it will also be accompanied by licking and
chewing and one ear locked onto you.
Not being an expert on anything, I'm going to hazard a guess that quite
a few horses also smell the trail. The 1/2 QH / Arab I rode for a while
did this, but his ears where perked straight forward down the trail
and he showed no signs of slowing down or submissiveness. I would guess
that what the horse is actually doing is up to the rider to unravel from
the situation. When I worked this horse in the pen and did join-up, his
response was different than when he was "smelling the trail". When he
submitted in the pen, his energy level was down and he relaxed.
As always, if your horse is doing something strange, check for soreness.
Remember the head tossing threads? I think there was some back soreness
involved with that incident, so the horse was most likely trying to
communicated that to the rider. Run your hands down the back, pinch
the tendons, check feet.
I have been to a Monty Roberts clinic. I'm going back the first chance
I get. I highly recommend him to anyone willing to listen. His ability
to teach a horse *how* to be trained is priceless... especially for
anyone dealing with a mustang, green horse, ex-racer ...
:) - kat myers
in San Mateo (No.) Ca. with Magnum the TB ex-racer
ps... I have also learned that working horses is quite energy intensive
for the trainer... it's better to be in shape!