To Cross Tie or not to Cross Tie... That is the question...
Some people religiously or habitually use them, and other people are vehemently or religiously oppose them...so who's right?
I say neither is wrong and both are right, it's all about the preparation. Cross Ties are super handy for grooming, tacking and farrier work because the horse stays more or less in a smaller space and it's easier to move around them to do your work. The problem comes in when the human's horsemanship is low, and the horse's skills are low.
Cross ties don't allow a horse to move left or right much, much like when were riding actually. We don't want the horse going just any ole direction, we want them straight under us. And when they are straight under us, we *should* turn them loose, the same as this horse has slack in the lines (cross ties) because she's straight.
Now, if the horse doesn't know how to follow a feel and give well when tied, and the human doesn't know how to tell if the horse is READY to be tied or saddled, then Cross Ties can be super dangerous and cause a serious panic. The lack of mobility that the cross tie imposes, ignites the fight flight response and there'll be a wreck for sure.
Some people will tell you, if a horse is tied while being saddled, you're not giving them the "choice" to be saddled or not. As a trainer and horsemen, it's not about a horse saying yes or no it's about a horse being ready. So these same people make a blanket statement, that you should NEVER tie a horse while being saddled, but that's not right either...there are thousands upon thousands of horses that are Plenty ready to be saddled while tied, or cross tied.
In the end, it comes down to horse training and horsemanship. #1 prepare your horse, and #2 learn the signs of a horse that is ready to be saddled. Then the choice can be knowledgeably and justifiably yours to saddle while tied/cross tied.......or not.