I have read several pages so far and not one has brought up STRONGLY (there was one op that mentioned it in passing) that this may be a lesson horse only to help pay for his board, or a lot of other reasons. That doesn't make him a LESSON HORSE. All that makes him is a horse that gets a saddle put on, and yanked, and kicked, and probably has a mouth like the rock of Gibraltar, and if you looked at his sides, probably has two inch thick extra padding from being kicked, spurred, and I won't even go into the whip part. I'm sorry that so far no one has given you the benefit of doubt about the horses behavior.
If a lesson horse needs to be ridden with a whip, he is NOT a lesson horse. I know in dressage people use those as aids during performances but not trying to get a horse dulled by years of abusive and rough handling to behave. I absolutely agree with you if you're going to learn to carry a crop or whip it should be to further your education, not to, excuse me because it's not a pun, beat a dead horse. Good Luck, Cheryl