tj135 wrote:I would try it, you never know - your horse might really like running with one. When properly used I think they can be excellent tools. If you're having success and happy with how things are right now though, I wouldn't change what's working.
There are plenty of successful barrel horses that run with tie downs. While agree tie downs (like anything) can be used improperly, to generalize it by saying it's only a crutch & a sign of poor training is extremely narrow minded IMO.
I agree... It is very hard to say what to do without seeing it in person. If you do try one - Remember to be very careful. If your horse has never worn one make sure it's very loose to begin with and adjust it in stages. If you have a roundpen that's a great spot to get them used to it.
I had some clinicians up here in the spring and they completely changed the way I look at tie downs. We now incorporate tie downs into every aspect of our program. I have found them to be an invaluable tool. Judging by what the clinician horses have gone on and won, I hardly think the use of a tie down is an indication that the horses lack training.