but he'd always get hot on the last mile home. As a shorter rider, his head does come awful close to my face when he gets light and frisky. We were able to work with him enough to where he'd walk (as fast as he possibly could without breaking into a trot, because he learned that was a no no), but he'd still get light and prancy.
well, for this situation, a running martingale would be far more effective and much safer- they are specifically intended to be used for a horse who tries to evade your "slow down" aids by lifting his head up high. A running martingale only applies downward pressure if you engage the reins and the horse tries to evade by lifting his head. And with a running martingale you can immediately release a horse's neck to allow him to balance just by slacking up on the reins.
Obviously the real problem is a training issue, but putting a running on during the re-training would be helpful, more effective, and much safer than using a tie-down.
Certainly not on a trail. I bought a horse that "came with a tie down" and didn't EVER use it, and he has been fine. Relaxed and found his own balance and center. Riding trails in AZ, CO, NM, CT and VT, I have never met anyone who rode a trail with tie down-like others see that as a training issue-so don't know what I'd do! good question! But I've had great discussions about bits, for example (thinking of the 'hey did you know.." format)- and from a friend, or friendly person, information can be more readily accepted.
I rode my paint in a hackamore for a while but another woman at the barn I boarded at gave me some very helpful, but unsolicited, advice abouthow she felt my boy did better with a bit. He did! I was grateful!