I do "talk" to the horses I ride, but the amount of talking depends on the situation and the horse. For example, one horse that I ride is very green, so when something "scary" is around or is happening, I talk to her in a steady even voice and let her know "it's okay", "good girl", etc. This relaxes her and keeps her listening to me rather than the scary thing. I cue mostly through body language, change in my seat, leg cues, hand cues...shifting weight, etc. I really don't find anything wrong with using hands as long as they are light hands. I currently only ride in hackamores and still have a very light hand...but do use my hands some (Yes, I realize hackamores can be harsh as well). Usually I use voice as a back up, for example...if my change in seat didn't have the desired effect. I use voice to speed up at the trot (trot-trot) or to slow down in trot/canter (easy)...and to get the horse to stand patiently(whoah)....and always use my voice for GOOD BOY/GIRL!. I guess it depends on what I feel like at the moment, and what I know works for each particular horse.
A horse is the projection of peoples' views about themselves--strong, powerful, beautiful--and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existance.