Non-USA 15 year old  TWH ridden in  sweet iron snaffle and Aussie Saddle in round pen, ring, hills by  intermediate rider

 Question: Hello, My name is Suzanne.  I own a TWH.  I have a new  trainer that want's to use a tie down so he can lower his head. My gut  feeling is telling me no. She is trying to build his back muscles and  teaching him to bend. My horse is 15 years old. I would prefer doing  hill work with him. Please I need your advise.  Your opinion would be  greatly appreciated. Thank you.

From Panelist Annette

Do hill work. 


From Panelist Nancy

Suzanne, I would go with your gut feeling and tell your trainer an emphatic "No!".  Wearing a tie down and lowering his head is not going to help him build his back muscles.  That would only come from quite advanced dressage and developing a lot of "carrying" ability in his way of going and that is not at all necessary.  He must not be carrying his head too high so that he is not safe to ride, as you didn't mention that to be a problem.  TWs 
usually have a fairly high head carriage as their necks are set on in such a manner as to facilitate a fairly high head carriage, and you can teach him to bend without a tie down.  Also, if he's pleasant to ride the way he is, I wouldn't let some trainer make life miserable for him trying to change his entire way of going. 

Do your hill work, as you suggested.

Nancy Cade

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