It is not uncommon for a horse to be confused by a new riders cues. Different energy level , level of confidence and leg length can all plays into this.
I would start with a little ground work and get him familiar with your verbal cues for walk, trot and canter. When he responds well to these verbal cues from ground try riding again. Now he should have something to relate to once you are on his back. You may still need an aid like the end of your mecate or a crop to initiate movement in the beginning but if you are consistent with your cues you should not need the aid down the road. To walk off I use a leg cue first, then cluck, then use the mecate as a last resort.
Consistency of your cues is very important as our horses learn from consistency. If you are consistent with these cues eventually the horse will respond to your leg cue alone and the other aids will not be required.
Best of luck.