I have never had the need for a tie down. I do gymkhanas with my horse, but have never used a tie down. I work lots on getting my horse to listen to my commands. I use a simple snaffle and a simple leather western bridle. Nothing fancy. I use boots on my horse, just for protection because sometimes he looses him mind :roll:, and forgets where he puts his legs. I prefer him not getting hurt. If your horse listens to you, you really should need nothing fancy, no tie down or anything. In my experience, tie downs are only short term, teaching a horse is long term. I prefer to do a little more work the first time, and then have a really responsive horse that I don't need anything to ride them. My horse, OTTB, was really highstrung, still is now. Only been 3 years. Can ride him without anything, no saddle, no halter or bridle. I really work on listening to aids.