My grandfather and great grandfather were pretty well respected horse trainers and traders. They eventually specialized in Appaloosas and owned some greats.
The advice I got?
"Get on her and ride girl." "She'll be broke when she's broke." and I learned to quit asking for help because that included him chasing me around the field with a 2X4. LOL! I never heard a story of them hurting a horse. A hurt horse cost money, which they didn't have. Most of the time they did like said, caught up the colt, hitched him up, saddled him, mounted him and rode like hell. By the end of the day that horse was broke, or else they weren't getting paid that weekend at the auction.
My Bob taught me how to teach the first filly I raised to stand tied and get better at leading and respecting a rope. I had her started but he came over and buried an old telephone pole in my pasture. He had put a thick tire tube around it first and we tied the filly to the tube. She fought for a bit then learned that when she stepped towards the pole the pressure was released. They knew back then the same things they are teaching today. It's just more touchy feely and technical. I never had a problem with that filly being tied and she was the easiest horse I've ever trained. Of course my experience is limited, I'm no trainer.