Amount of leg may vary with the horse's training. A lot of western trained horses are not used to having constant contact with the lower leg, and they respond by going faster - which is what they think they are supposed to do. And when I ride my horse with our Circle Y, I don't have contact with my lower leg because the saddle tree pushes my leg away.
Trooper was trained on a ranch. He was also spurred quite hard on a ranch he was loaned to, and it took several years of riding before even very light touches of the lower leg didn't automatically cause a rapid increase in speed. Mia was trained by a western trainer (yes, she got her training 3 years after I bought her, but that is another story). However, I'm the one who has ridden her out. Riding her in an Aussie-style saddle, I normally have a light contact with my lower leg. She knows me and doesn't worry until the light contact becomes a nudge.
When I ride Trooper, I try to remember he doesn't like feeling my lower leg next to him. And I think it is reasonable for a teacher to get on a horse and find out where the horse is at in its training rather than expecting it to be trained her way. More of my humble opinion...
You triggered a thought with this. Cinny's only training before I got him was a typical Western 30 day BREAKING. I don't know who did it, or what they did. I do know when I got Cinny he was very sensitive around the flanks and it took me almost 2 years to get him to even relax a little bit with a bit in his mouth..and was a horrible teeth gritter.
This is his history as told by his previous owner. 1) She bought his dam when he was a few months old and he was included in the deal and just 3 or 4 months old. He was later weaned and put in a dry lot with other horses. He stayed there until he was 6 years old. They got him out, gelded him and sent him out for a typical Western 30 day training. They didn't have time for him and put him back in the dry lot. The next summer they decided to try him as a trail horse. Broken bones were involved, and not his. The next spring (2010) He was sold to me as an untrained pasture puff that I later found out had a really bad reputation.
He has only ever bucked with a person on him since I got him, one time. It was a couple of months ago when we were at the fairgrounds the night before a show. He wouldn't pick up a correct lead and I kept at him until he did it. He took one stride, gave me a hard buck and stopped dead in his tracks and glared at me. I got off, untacked and checked him head to toe...he had a cut on his heel bulb I had missed when grooming. He was only trying to tell me he was hurt.
He has always had a different way of doing things, or reacting to things than other horses. He isn't a bully, but he refuses to be bullied too. If you ask, if he understands what you are asking he will try his heart out to do it. If he doesn't understand he will grit his teeth, toss his head, turn and glare at you or try to anticipate or guess. If try to bully him to do something (get in a trailer is a good example) and yank on him, use a crop on him, yell.... watch out because he will explode back at you tenfold. He also doesn't forget a person and he is very opinionated about who he likes. He isn't bad or mean to people he doesn't like, he will just play tricks on them.
Maybe that's why I feel like I would like a trainer to get on him. Maybe I'm just stuck up and think I'm the only person who understands my horse and the way he works...or that you have to get on him to understand how his brain works. I don't know.
Maybe I should just send him to someone to work with for a month or two and take myself out of the equation, and then have that person give me lessons with him.