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Horse Behavior and Training

"Patience Poles"

Hello! 100 lessons completed 150 lessons completed
A horse I care very much about was put on a "patience pole" for HOURS. He cried out and turned circles and was so distressed. He didn't calm down in the entire time he was restrained.
I asked about what it was supposed to teach him and they told me it is to teach him "patience".
So the horse is physically restrained, distraught, for hours. It looks like sacking out or flooding...  is that correct? If not, how is it different? Each horse I saw on that pole exhibited high levels of distress and none of them seemed to have confidence or behavioral improvement afterward. I did look on the uni, nothing there about patience poles that I could find. I also researched online and asked around and people just said it teaches patience 
Questions I have are "how?" "Is the level of distress and stress it causes fair to the horse?" "How do you tell if the training *worked*?" "Is This the only good way to do this?"
Please teach me what you can below. Suggestions on uni videos that can help are very welcome.
I don't have input in his training so I can't change it. Just really want to understand this so I can decide what to do moving forward.