with regard to hitting your horse;
think of it more like they ignore all the signs of "move or you will be run over", so they end up connecting with the whip or swinging lead rope that is approaching them. You aren't trying to HIT them . you are creating a "WALL' of pressure that is moving toward them. They have every opportunity to move away from the wall, but if they arent' paying attention, or don't think the wall has any bite to it, then they experience the truth.
The instant they move from that pressure, it must dissolve.
most of the time that I need to move a horse's shoulder away from me, such as make it move out onto the circle for lunging, I start to apply the moving wall of pressure with just my finger tips tapping at the air, aimed at their cheekbone area. I move toward them implaccably, and if they don't read my body language, then my hands run into their face, and boom! they get a surprise. they swing their head, and thus their shoulder away from me, and I drop my hands to my side, all pressure off.
next time, all I have to do is lean a little toward them and raise hands to tap at the air, and they step right over. I don't reach out and hit them. I am like hitting the air while moving toward them, and if they don't move I just happen to run into them.
Can you see the difference?