Originally Posted by Sphi
They're really small nubs, like 1/4 inch I think. I'm using them because he doesn't listen to just leg very much.
That, my friend, is probably your problem. Short spurs are not kind spurs, at all. If anything, they make your leg/position much harder. Why? Because you have to move your leg too far out of position to use them. You lose your "feel" and softness when your leg is so far away from where it should be.
I use 1 1/2 to 2" dressage spurs (depending on whether I am doing flatwork or jumping). All I have to do is slightly turn my toes out to press them (never jab) into the horse's sides. Much softer and kinder when you maintain such good feel, IMHO.
I also only use rounded spurs, nothing with a squared edge.
Ilovejr, if you don't have to turn your toe out to engage your spur, I fear you are riding with your toe out all the time. You may be engaging your spur constantly that way. Toes should be forward when wearing spurs correctly.
Sadly, I see many people with heels digging into their horse's sides. That is why nubbies became so popular. Learn to use your leg correctly instead of relying on spurs that require moving your leg too much.