From: Debbie Zanot
I read Monty Roberts book also, but going with the head to the ground as he talks about it an entirely different context. It is similar to a dog rolling over on its back, a submissive thing. From experience I share that my first endurance horse who was a abused horse when I bought him, was always in the flight mode. He traveled with his head high expecting to be held in etc. When he realized that I was not going to hold him in his head dropped. In a race was a different story and after he traveled high headed for awhile he would pull his head down frequently but he was sore and that is the reason. His back was not sore, but his muscles in the rear were.
Sniffing is real obvious. We were riding and encountered bears. The horses trotted with their heads down, tails up and were blowing. My horses will sniff for other horses in a ride, but there is a difference when they are sore or just plain pooped out. I have noticed when a horse gets tired they will travel that way until the get their second wind..Hope this helps.