I think that tie downs are fine .... IF they are used for the correct reason.
Nose sticking out in the air? NO.
Head in the sky? NO.
Blowing by the first barrel? NO.
Rearing or bucking? HECK NO.
I do believe that sometimes a horse in training can benefit from the occasional use of a tie down (I myself never like to introduce a tie down until they are loping the pattern on their own). And sometimes a finished horse needs a tie down on certain ground. You know your own horse and what works for them, if the tie down isn't being used to cover up an underlying issue.
I myself even used a tie down on a roan I used to have for the sheer purpose of protecting MY nose when we'd be doing games. I have the tendency to lean forward sometimes, and he had the tendency to have a high headset (which I really didn't mind because he did his job well).
Typically, I try to avoid them, because most things can be fixed with good training. BUT they still do have their place.
∞•*˚ Βгįťţαňγ ˚*•∞
It is not enough to know how to ride; one must know how to fall.