As for the whipping and spurring, I spur around the turns to strengthen my leg aids and on the way home I spur too. I don't spur very hard at all, just enough to get the message across. I whip if I need to, but not always. I have a lasso-type thing that loops around my saddle horn and just hangs there, so if I need it I can reach back and give him a spank on the butt. I can feel when a horse is running his best, and if he is I won't be spurring or whipping. If I sense the slack due to pure laziness I spur. If its slack due to something else, I don't spur. I can sense when it needs to happen.
If I have a hore that's just slacking because he has no heart for the job, I have no reason to spur him on. But with horses like Rico who are naturally lazy and not giving their best even with the heart to do it I am going to spur and spur until the message is in his mind. I know hroses have off-days, and I know they aren't going to get a winning time every run, but I do want them to try and I do expect them to listen to me when I ask for speed. If I sense lameness, I'm going to make them stop. If I sense laziness, I'm going to make them run.
I don't see a prblem with whips or spurs so long as they are not misused. I'm not abusive with these tools as some people are. I don't spur very hard and I don't whip hard either. I train my horses that when they hear the cracking sound they need to go faster. My horn contraption has two leather pieces that smack together in the slightest tap, and it doesn't even have to make contact for more than a split second to make the crack. I like that because then its a verbal cue and not a physical one.
Pssh.I didn't pick up the wrong lead
It's called a counter canter...
...A very advanced maneuver.