08-22-2010, 06:44 PM
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I only have one horse that wear spurs on and I only very seldom use them. Denny is so sensitive that he would freak out if I touched him with a spur. Most the other horses I ride are green and spurs don't do any good on green horses, the create tail wringers and can cause bucking. Dobe is the only horse I wear mine on because, while he is a very well trained horse, he occasionally has his sluggish moments where he knows he needs to get in front of that cow but just doesn't want to. A little press or bump from a spur will wake him up and remind him "I don't mean in a minute, I mean NOW".
What most people don't realize is that using spurs with every stride (like you see a lot of barrel racers do) actually causes a horse to run slower than what his potential is. They begin to anticipate the pain of the spurs and to brace their belly against it, essentially sucking their belly up away from the spurs. That shortens their stride and makes them run slower. I get much better results (and sounder minded horses) with soft, steady leg pressure when I ask for the flat out run.