I think y'all are confused about what a one rein stop is...
Like smrobs, I have and will continue to keep it as an option IF it is defined as "turn them in a slowly tightening circle until they slow down". That can be useful a lot of times, and sometimes has been the only way to slow down my mare in a mindless bolt. And BTW, Mia & I have spent 5 months now working on her fears, and she is doing much better - so it IS a training issue, but not always one you know about until it is too late.
Not all horses, in a bolt, respond to having their heads turned. 30 years ago, visiting a ranch, I rode a bombproof horse who, that day, wasn't bombproof. As he bolted, and we got closer to a barbed wire fence, I brought his head around until his nose was inches from my knee, and he was STILL in a full gallop toward the fence. Happily, some months before an old cowboy told me you could sometimes turn a bolting horse by hammering their shoulder with your boot. It worked that day, although I don't think very many 'natural horsemanship' folks teach it...
However, the woman I took lessons from last summer had a different idea of a one rein stop. On the horses she trained, if you tipped their nose in significantly, they would stop. With my horses, if they don't start walking, I sometimes tip their nose in and their balance encourages them to start walking. Got scolded for that, because in her system of training, it was important that when you tipped the nose to one side, they understood "Stop!"
Now, how does that cue improve over pulling back on the reins? I don't know. Maybe it was less likely to result in a rider gripping tight with the knees. Maybe it was supposed to get the horse back in touch with the rider. I don't know. My horses are not trained that way, so it wouldn't 'work' for me.
But tightening a circle, and if need be, disengaging them at the end? That will work on most horses if there is room, trained or not. I did it with Mia this morning, when we were cantering & she saw Trooper cantering ahead and decided, "DAMMIT! I can outrun him!" So we started turning in a tightening circle until she slowed and agreed to let me set the speed.
But I think that is the poor boy's version of a one rein stop. The 'right way' involves training, and I don't do the training for it.
But I do NOT see how it hurts anyone to have a ORS in their bag of tricks. I don't use a pulley rein all the time, but it is a good trick to know. I don't haul back and kick horses on the shoulder to turn them, but it worked the one time I needed it to work.
"I have never felt that it would be necessary to teach the one rein stop to my own horses or the horses that I ride."
Must be nice. Mia & I have done lots of bolting together. Working on retraining an 11 year old horse who was sold to me 4 years ago as 'perfect for a beginner' has made an interesting 5 months.
"I also believe that being able to read your horse and have great feel and timing are extremely important."
Agreed. Part of what I've worked on hard for 5 months now is reading Mia's moods, and learning when to let her have her head and when to restrain her. But in the world where many of us live, perfect knowledge and reading of one's horse isn't always an option. There are a variety of ways of calming a horse that is starting to get worked up. There are also times a Full-Bore Panic Bolt (FBPB) hits rather quickly, and without a lot of warning. When it does is NOT the time to start thinking about what to do now. Having a big bag of tricks, with a variety of options to choose from, is what I want!