As for the second: What I'm doing has worked extremely well with my mare.
And if you think it is dangerous to LEAD a horse, perhaps your experience isn't as all encompassing as you suggest. Most folks find it pretty easy to control a horse on a lead line. So easy, even bsms can do it...
I don't care if you have practiced falling off...do it on the trails near me, and you will be in serious danger. The trails are often very rocky and surrounded by cactus. And while my mare isn't perfectly behaved, she has never tried to kick or trample me.
So when she gets nervous, I'll back her up. If need be, I'll dismount and lead her. And the next time, she will be a bit more confident.
We're now hitting the trails 4 times a week. The last few times, we've made it out to the edge of public land that stretches from here to Mexico. Next week, we plan to bring water and start exploring that public land...
If what you're doing works well with your mare, then by all means continue. My point was that you're giving advice based on your experience with your mare. What works with one horse will not work for all horse. You have to be careful when giving advice to someone with a horse that could be just like your mare, or completely different. Your mare may be very respectful of you, on the ground, other horses may not.
I don't think it's dangerous to lead a horse. What I do think is dangerous is getting off to lead your horse over something that they don't want to go over, or around, or under, or whatever. I feel this way, because I've seen it happen, on numerous occasions. Where the horse won't go over a stream or a log, or whatever, and the rider gets off, to try to coax the horse over from the ground. My experience has been, that rarely ends well.
Most of the worst injuries I have acquired and most of the awful injuries I have seen occur to others have actually happened when handling a horse on the ground, not when falling off.
I've been kicked enough times to know I'd rather take a fall.
Yes, I acknowledge the fact, that despite all my 'practice' falling off, I could still get seriously injured.
BUT, my entire point was about not putting yourself and your horse in dangerous situations to begin with.
I rarely ride out on trail alone. I love trail riding by myself, but I have just seen too many horrific things happen, to ever be comfortable with it.
Many of the accidents that occur with horses could've easily been prevented. That's my whole point, in most of what I've typed in this thread (and elsewhere).