"Whips are not required"...except for when they are. For example: There is a place near here where a trail enters a wash. The wash has several narrow spots and the bushes along the sides of the wash restrict the view. Mia doesn't like the wash. She isn't exactly afraid of it, but it makes her uncomfortable.
If we are in the rear, she'll enter the wash without complaint. If she is in the lead, she balks. Not because it is unsafe, and not because she is afraid. She has been thru that section hundreds of times. She just doesn't like it.
But it is hard to trail ride in southern Arizona without ever using a wash. So if she balks, I'll flick the leather strap on my own leg first. If that isn't enough, then I'll flick it on her shoulders. That is enough to get her moving again.
If she is genuinely afraid, no whipping will move her forward. But when she is reluctant, a flick on the shoulders beats me sitting on her back and flailing away with my heels on her sides.
I know she doesn't like that 200 yard stretch of wash. She never will. But that is the best route to state-owned land. And besides, I don't want HER to decide what trails we go on. She isn't smart enough to make good decisions on that. Once in the wash, she is OK. But she doesn't get to choose to refuse: