You know, smorbs, now that I think back I do remember someone telling me to use a rope to teach an ornery pony how to pick up his back feet without kicking. There wasn't any tying involved, just looping it behind his leg and lifting while I held the rope.
I've also seen people use those ropes that almost look like shackles on the horse's feet to keep them from running off (used properly).
Still. Farrier should have known better.