I PERSONALLY would never use a tie down as I think they are a cover up, But whatever floats your boat! If any one would like some advice on avoiding the tie down (like not having to use one) I have a little.
I would try counter bending, flexion, use a longer rein and even take your horse out of the ring for a while, go with friends on a trail ride or down to the beach anything to relax your horse and in turn your horse will start to bring down his head. If you are not able to go to the beach, trails, river ect. Try doing trail courses and horsemanship patterns instead of always running the barrels/poles or round and round and round in the ring! Do some spirals, as in: Start with a large circle and slowly work down until you are doing roll backs/spins. If you don't feel comfortable riding without a tie down feel free to ride with one to start with one and slowly work it out of your tack room, you could even ask a experienced rider to ride your horse if you are nervous. If you are in a regular lesson program ask you trainer to show you collection (unless you already know
) that will help my overal advive would be: Relax take it a step down, alow your horse to do the right thing. Horses are sensitive and smart creatures, if you are a barrel/poles rider (or any event really) flexion will help aswell as counter bending. If you would like to you can take your horse for walks and bonding, bond with your horse show him that you are on his back to hurt him but on his back to hang with him and love him
your horse will appreciate it!!
PLEASE DO NOT BASH THIS AS IT IS ONLY MY OPINION and it really does help me. I hope it helps some other people aswell. I do not want anyone hurt I only want to help.
I am an experienced rider but most definatley not the greatest person out there, but I do train my own horses.