To use or not to use a Tie-down?
 
 

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To use or not to use a Tie-down?

This is a discussion on To use or not to use a Tie-down? within the Barrel Racing forums, part of the Western Riding category
  • Use of a tie down in barrel racing
  • How to use barrel racing tie downs

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    04-09-2012, 09:57 AM
  #1
Weanling
Question To use or not to use a Tie-down?

So I have noticed recently when I go to shows and run my horse on any sort of speed event he gets all spazzy and loses focus and holds his head way higher than usually, he is only 6years old but I am thinking about trying a tie down on him and seeing if it makes a difference. I would only use it in shows or clinics. Any opinions? I think he might benif from it because he may feel it gives him more support or something I don't know but all opinions are welcome!
     
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    04-09-2012, 11:22 AM
  #2
Yearling
Sounds to me like he needs more slow work, less speed, and some foundation work. A tie down is not going to fix anything and will only cause your horse to lean and stiffen up in the turns.

How long have you had him going on the pattern, and what do you do when you work him on the barrels?
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    04-09-2012, 11:24 AM
  #3
Trained
Tie downs should only be used on a finished horse as a balancing aid. Not for fixing the "spazz" problem. I would go back and do some more slow stuff, like the above poster said.
     
    04-09-2012, 08:44 PM
  #4
Green Broke
I agree that you should NOT use a tie down.

Your horse needs training and seasoning. Not an artificial device to force him to keep his head in place.

First, at home, you need to teach him to give to the bit and drop his head. When he gets good and solid at home, then you have a tool to implement at the show when he gets "spazzy". Do not let him get away with it. Not even once.

Also, when he loses focus and is not paying attention to you, MAKE HIM listen. Do circles, backing up, sidepasses, leg yields, etc Just anything to get his feet moving get his focus back on you.

And the other thing - are YOU as the rider getting tense and nervous at shows? What you do can be felt by your horse. If you are tense and nervous and "spazzy" so will the horse. Keep your body relaxed.
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    04-10-2012, 12:45 PM
  #5
Weanling
I have been working on patterning him and working up to the speed for 6months, I usually just lope the pattern at home and at shows usually a slow gallop or fast canter. I have gotten him to the point where he does give to the bit and will drop his head when asked. The only time he "spazz's" or loses focus is at shows and he will still listen but almost seems to forget what he's doing and totally gets off track, we don't normally have this problem at home it's only at shows, when he runs at home he never does that which confuses me?
     
    04-10-2012, 01:03 PM
  #6
Trained
I think he's associated being at a show with being able to run. Maybe haul him to a few shows and just trot the pattern? I know that can be a pain because you want to show off what you can do but I think it could really be beneficial to him to go slow at a few shows.
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    04-12-2012, 11:15 AM
  #7
Weanling
Thats a good idea, i've only been to a about 5 shows with him and at 3 of them he was able to run. I was going to go to one this weekend but he's come up with a mysterious lameness. :(
     
    04-13-2012, 01:32 PM
  #8
Green Broke
[QUOTE=Moei;1447376]I have been working on patterning him and working up to the speed for 6months, I usually just lope the pattern at home and at shows usually a slow gallop or fast canter. I have gotten him to the point where he does give to the bit and will drop his head when asked. The only time he "spazz's" or loses focus is at shows and he will still listen but almost seems to forget what he's doing and totally gets off track, we don't normally have this problem at home it's only at shows, when he runs at home he never does that which confuses me?[/QUOTE]

You've only taken him to 5 shows. He is still very green when it comes to barrel racing competitions. Sometimes it can take years for a horse to be accustomed to the hustle and bustle of horse events.

It should not confuse you that he works perfectly at home where he is comfortable and familiar with his surroundings, but he has attention issues in a strange environment with loud noises and strange horses everywhere.

You've just got to pay that much more attention to him when you are at a show and MAKE him listen to you at all times. Again, you don't have to be abusive or mean or gruff with him to make him listen. But you have to be consistent and persistent. Do not let him get away with anything. Ever. You always have to have him respond correctly to the cue you are giving him before you release the pressure of the cue. If you don't, he learns he does not have to listen to you at shows. You need to make him realize that just because he is in a strange place, does not give him permission to act any differently when you cue him to do things.
     
    04-13-2012, 03:03 PM
  #9
Started
Even taking him to diffrent arena's to work would be good for him. Cause, at a show, everything is different from home, so many things to look at! Eeeek! But if you get him used to different places, all the more power to you, because it'll be much easier to settle him in at a show.

There's 3 different places I want to take my girl for some work (besides home), so hopefully a "new" place isn't very exciting anymore.
     
    04-14-2012, 08:14 AM
  #10
Started
Sounds to me like your horse doesn't have a very good foundation. In my opinion, you should work more on the basics & then go back to the pattern. It's a crucial mistake but many people do it, just makes things take WAY longer.

A tie-down is not made to keep a horse's head down, it's made to improve the horse's balance (ex: stopping, turning) That's why it's used so often in barrel racing & roping.
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