I also agree with Desert Lane and others.
If done correctly and for short periods of time and in no way should the horse be left unattended.
Its like anything things else... the mildest tools, techniques done incorrectly can be harmful to any horse.
When this type of technique is done by an experienced individual, it can be notice/witness by others that there are releases attained by the horse and on it own.
The trainer would be looking for small yield responses of correctness with the horse demonstrating the ability of staying calm and figuring things out,in which many ways are teaching itself how to response, being supple, having softness and attaining patience, getting the overall approval from the trainer by both animal and human quitting and taken on to another training task or call it a day.
Heres the deal... an animal shouldn't be done out of the blue, it because other training steps would need to have taken place first & learnt, such as teaching the horse using a halter and lead rope and that allows the horse to become familiar, being able to understand that part of the process without any fearfulness of what is being done.
Controlling the animal's feet and travel upward/downward transition in gaits with directional changes often should put an position effect on it's mind and there is no need to over work the horse because he or she won't be able to learn due to exhaustion.
The animal must be and stay in a calm state of mind to experience the fullest of this and other techniques.
One rein would be tied to the side ring of the saddle and within an reasonable length to start out with slowly taking up small section of slack until reaching the desired effect. It causes the horse to seek relieve by finding the release point and hold, while standing still and once again there are valuable elements of training being attain while going in this manner of teaching in which I feel it is more effective because the horse is learning these on it own.
The trainer is there with the horse standing an few feet away to oversee everything and the durations.
This kind of thing along with other training techniques can be viewed and misunderstood when a person is witnessing someone who is incompetent that lacks real training knowledge. In that case I could see where people feel this is wrong when it not.
The horse wouldn't be overly concern or show stress about their situation because they have been taught to seek correctness of the release.
The final product would render a horse which is quick to soften and yield to each rein.
I hope this insight helps bring about a clearer understanding about this training technique and its usages.
Edited by BW7, 04 April 2012 - 03:00 PM.