Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
I know that the Dressage people here will tell you what is legal in the show ring, but I'd like to put in my 2 cents worth re: spurs.
First, spurs are a great training tool.
Second, you should use the mildest spur to get the job done. I have US Cavalry brass spurs with sharp rowels, a more mild set of stainless steel roweled spurs, a set of 1/2 long Prince of Wales Spurs and a set of blunt 3/8" long SS spurs.
My favorite spurs are the Prince of Wales. My horses can feel them with just a turn of my heel, and I use them to train better attention to my leg. Calve cue first, then, if unresponsive, spur next. If unresponsive to the spur I dismount and do some ground training.
You want your horse to understand that a spur is coming, so he needs to listen to your leg.
I wore the Cav. spurs pretty much for show bc after training my horses to the hobby they knew their job and it took only a forward, looser rein and my calves to gallop off from a halt.
If your leg is longer than your horse's belly, you want to point the spur upwards. (Mostly long legged men.)
If your leg is "Swallowed Up" by horse (mostly big horses and smaller women), you will want the spur to point downwards.
Always adjust your spur to be around your ankle bone. English field boots and other English boots have a "spur rest" on the boot and that should guide you to the correct position.
Hope this helps. =D