Originally Posted by Spastic_Dove
Tie downs are meant to be used to give something for the horse to brace against. They can be very handy on horses for speed events or roping.
For this I think they can be an effective tool.
What they are not meant for is to hold the horses head down or prevent the horse from rearing.
AMEN Sister! I laughed while this girl and my brother went round and round with this one. SHE uses a tie down ON EVERY ONE of her horses because she always has, she doesn't feel "Safe" without one! Her horse still freaked out with it etc. while my brother (who's only been riding 2 years now) took it off and rode the horse not only sane but faster then she did. I know A LOT of people in the 4-H community use them, but if you ask they have no idea what they are for OR they say "My horse rears without it"
I agree, in speed events they can and are helpful, but not necessary for other events or as a training tool to keep them from rearing/hold their heads down. Though they make a handy halter for inbetween events while you're trying to cool them out :)