Whether using our eyes or our hands, we interact with our environment through mobile sensors. The efficient use of these sensory organs implies the ability to track their position; otherwise, perceptual stability and prehension would be profoundly impeded. The nervous system may be informed about the position of a sensory organ via two complementary feedback mechanisms: peripheral reafference (external, sensory feedback) and efference copy (internal feedback). Yet, the potential contributions of these mechanisms remain largely unexplored. By training rats to place their vibrissae within a predetermined angular range without contact, a task that depends on knowledge of vibrissa position relative to their face, we found that peripheral reafference is not required. The presence of motor cortex is not required either, even in the absence of peripheral reafference. On the other hand, the red nucleus, which receives descending inputs from motor cortex and the cerebellum and projects to facial motoneurons, is critical for the execution of the vibrissa task. All told, our results demonstrate the existence of an open-loop control by an internal model that is sufficient to drive voluntary motion. The internal model is independent of motor cortex and likely contains the cerebellum and associated nuclei.