I typically barrel with a snaffle, therefore I like direct contact. I've had a few horses be stiff and hard at the mouth with neck reining, but I've also had one that did much better with neck reining. It just depends on your horse.
Ask your riding club or the rodeo officials what the rules are on whipping/spurring. Also about the hat thing. And most places require a negative coggins test.
I got summer hating on me cause I'm hotter than the sun. Win-ter hating on me cause I'm colder than ya'll. I'm being hated by the seasons so forget ya'll who hating for no reason!