I've seen a person hauling on there horse with just a regular halter and cotton lead and thought it was harsher then people who use the chain.
I've been stalking this thread (lol) but yeah I have seen that too.. very very sad. I try to stay off of my horse's face as much as possible. I use the leadrope for pressure or cues though I do teach my horse to respond to feel from the halter. But I would NEVER haul on his face without a good reason! I've used a stud chain on a few mares before. Not my idea, but I didn't like what I saw. Some good respect refreshers and groundwork would have helped them out, instead of making them behave via pain on their nose :/ just my opinion though.
"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"