WS, I remember you starting a thread with something along the lines of why you hate barrel racing a while back. I don't see why you feel the need to potentially bring up a repeat. Or was that not you?
Yes, I push Selena hard into the turn with a lot of leg and I will smack her on the butt with my over and under. It doesn't hurt when I hit myself with it, why would it hurt her? What is bad about it? She requires to be pushed. She's a push style horse.
My gelding Ruger though does not require pushing. I can sit quiet as can be, and if you push he gets frustrated. Selena fires like a rocket when you kick and will shut down if you don't.
It's easy to say you don't have to kick and whip and spur when you have a free running horse (I recall on the other thread saying your horse could "fly into a gallop".) That's great for you. I'm guessing you were on an Arab, which, after running an arab before I can tell you it would not be uncommon for them to be free runners, and too sensitive to be pushed. If I rode Selena like I did that arab, I'd probably not make it back across the timers before my first born child was out of college.
It's also easy to say you don't have to push when you aren't running at that caliber. You don't understand how truly fast you are going until you ride a high caliber barrel horse. When people are learning to ride, everything feels faster than it is. I remember. When there's a couple hundred or thousand dollars on the line, I bet you'd whip and kick too. If you wanna lope at a local gymkhana, yeah, sure, you probably don't have to push hard to win something. That isn't true at the caliber of races some of us go to.
Just a couple things to think about.