If horses pulled back and broke things because of panic and fear, they would run off. Instead, most horses break a halter or lead and then just stand there.
If they are initially tied safely with something they cannot break, they learn very quickly to accept the restraint. We started some 15 young horses this year. None had been tied much or even handled much at all. Not a one set back more than a couple of times and they did not put the effort into it that a halter breaker would put into any episode.
I used to start 50 head a year; most of them came to me not even halter-broke at all, many untouched. I never injured one breaking them to tie and none were halter breakers when they left. Halter pullers come from horses that have been tied badly or with poor equipment, have then broken the equipment and have 'pounced' on the opportunity. They decided they could break loose -- and that is what they continued to do. They kept doing it because they were programmed to do it by their successes.
If you tie a horse at wither height or higher, I do not think you will hurt one unless it already has a handicap of some sort. One should always tie with a way to release the rope or should keep a sharp knife handy. Horses can throw themselves, particularly if they are prone to 'sull'. Obviously one has to release them if they are going to self-destruct. If that happens, they should be tied back up immediately.