Alright, here we go again...
Some horses respond like a rocket to it. Some don't.
There's a difference between bouncing and kicking and flapping your legs.
No, it doesn't exist in any other sport.
If you're going to do it, you have to do it right. And yes, there is a "right" way to do it. It's just that most people don't know how.
When I kick Selena out of a barrel, she gets one strong "Get going, NOW." kick. It's with my calves, not my spurs. If my spurs were to be used, she'd toss me right off. The only time my spurs are engaged is when I roll them on her side on the backside of a barrel. That's a difference between a kick and a roll. The roll says "finish the turn" and the kick says "Fire".
The "flapping" as we are referring to it should be done in time with stride. It really doesn't make a difference whether you do little flaps or massive flaps (Which I just find exhausting, LOL) If you do it properly with stride, you'll push them forward in stride.
Some horses hate that though. And I mean hate it. Some will actually extend and respond to it. That's one of those touchy things about barrel horses that people don't seem to understand. They aren't cookie cutters.
Same with riders. I may or may not hold onto my horn running home. Its not that I have to, it's just that I'm already holding my horn for the third turn..What benefit is it to me to let go? People can sit and say, "Oh, she must have a bad seat" all they want but I can still run that pattern bareback if I wanted. It's no problem of mine if someone wants to judge.
There have been times when Selena has fired so hard out of the third that I have felt my back pop...If I can use that horn to spare my spine, I sure as hell will. It's too easy to make a mistake going 40mph. I may not need the horn, but I'm not consciously thinking "Oh, better let go, my seat is good enough to stay on." I'm thinking more about how fast my pony can get back across the timer. Everything else, as long as I'm not hindering or hurting my horse or myself, is irrelevant to me.
Watch the NFR. Some kick more going home. Some sit quieter. Is anyone going to say either one of those girls has a bad seat and doesn't know what they're doing?