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Spurs?

This is a discussion on Spurs? within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Leg or spurs cues on a horse
  • Riding spurs first used

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    11-06-2013, 09:54 PM
  #11
Started
Spurs are not cruel if used "correctly" they are more extensions of you leg to reinforce & refine cues. If you don't know how to ride your horse using proper leg cues or your horse hasn't been trained proper aspects of body control then no I don't recommend them. This is the case where you take yourself & horse back to the drawing board & do more ground work and/or riding lessons ,as you have holes in your training. I have horses that I ride with spurs & others no,the ones I ride in spurs are ones I am asking for more advanced riding & asking for/ gaining body control & collection on.
     
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    11-06-2013, 09:57 PM
  #12
Green Broke
I like these M. Toulouse Soft Touch Spur from SmartPak Equine I think it gives enough signal to "move from my leg" without really being painful. My trainer also suggests them for people who have never used spurs before because there is more margin for learning with them without getting into too much trouble.

I agree on the most part that they should not be used for asking a horse to move forward with more impulsion in MOST cases. However I too have ridden a few dead sided horses where NOBODY could get them to move without a little extra help because their sides were pretty much numb. You might as well just be a little ant in the saddle for all they care.
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    11-06-2013, 10:12 PM
  #13
Weanling
For two years I've been riding my boy in spurs. First horse in 25+ years of riding who has caused me to seek hardware. Perhaps coincidentally, he laughs his ass off at anything without port and leverage in his mouth. Have both those, just enough to know they're there, and he's finger-tip light. Same with the spurs. Anything without a spicy rowel and he barges right through your whomping legs. Besides looking & feeling like an angry chicken atop the beast, riding was very unpleasant.

Now, in our third year, we have just developed enough of a rapport that he's starting to respond to lighter and lighter cues. He's a more willing partner and no-doubt I'm in much improved head-space, overall in my life. That said, I'm still tacked to the nines when I hop on. ;p
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    11-06-2013, 10:15 PM
  #14
Foal
Oh, I can hit him pretty hard. The first time I got on him, he wouldn't even trot for a while, but he's pretty much straightened out now. But I fear he's responding more to my whip than my legs, though I do a ask/correct/ask type thing.

He will not walk any faster than he wants though, and he will usually not respond when asked for a leg yield. I think he might have been trained with spurs, which would explain why he is so dull.

I use two dressage whips with him, one on each side. I'll try a shorter one, as you suggested. Would you still use it behind your leg or on the shoulder?
     
    11-06-2013, 10:40 PM
  #15
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinnys Whinny    
I agree on the most part that they should not be used for asking a horse to move forward with more impulsion in MOST cases. However I too have ridden a few dead sided horses where NOBODY could get them to move without a little extra help because their sides were pretty much numb. You might as well just be a little ant in the saddle for all they care.
That's pretty much my situation at the moment. Trust me, I know how to create forward movement, this silly guy just doesn't seem to have it sometimes. He will just blatantly ignore my legs, and my whip! Sweetest thing in the world, but he has been a pet for longer than he has been a riding animal.
     
    11-06-2013, 11:32 PM
  #16
Yearling
I use spurs on my almost 5 yr old. He is the type of horse that you either have to slam your legs onto to get to a trot, or gently poke with a spur. I don't know about the rest of you, but I would rather use a gentle poke than a repetitive slamming
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    11-07-2013, 12:06 AM
  #17
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by hemms    
For two years I've been riding my boy in spurs. First horse in 25+ years of riding who has caused me to seek hardware.
Not the Maximillian? Yeah that actually sounds like Max
     
    11-07-2013, 02:55 PM
  #18
Green Broke
I rode one last summer for somebody and I was squeezing and thumping with a crop , resorted to kicking, even tried to spook him into moving and you know what he did? He slowly turned and gave me a look as if to say "are you done yet? I'm trying to take a nap and you are ruining it for me."
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    11-07-2013, 03:53 PM
  #19
Green Broke
I use spurs, and they are absolutely not cruel. If they are used incorrectly, or by someone less experienced, then they certainly can be. But, inherently and if used correctly, spurs are certainly not cruel.

I use spurs to get my horse to engage his hind end a bit more effectively.

It may help in 'waking your horse' up a bit, and encouraging him to listen to your leg. This is all under the assumption that you already know how to use your leg effectively (you don't sound like a particularly novice rider).

On my horse I use a "Prince of Wales". It's not a particularly harsh spur.
     
    11-11-2013, 01:00 AM
  #20
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinnys Whinny    
However I too have ridden a few dead sided horses where NOBODY could get them to move without a little extra help because their sides were pretty much numb. You might as well just be a little ant in the saddle for all they care.
Horses can feel a fly land on their skin. So unless a horse has nerve damage, they are not numb or dead sided... They have been allowed to get away with not answering leg aids or have not been taught to correctly answer leg aids.

I have a chestnut TB who is quite lazy, however with correct training and appropriate reinforcement of my leg aids, he is becoming a lot more responsive. Spurs are there to reinforce and refine leg aids, they are not for getting more forward or impulsion. If you have a horse that does not respond to leg, do more ground would and ridden work to make hime understand what you are asking.

The method that has worked well for me has been to give the aid (walk, trot, canter, leg yield, whatever), If no response then ask again firmly, if still no response, ask firmly and tap with a whip. I have never had to ask more than 3 times and now I find that it takes him less time to answer as he knows what happens when he ignores me. While learning he got a pat on the neck and a "yaaah, good" from me when he answered correctly. He is now at the stage where just a "yaaah" is a sufficient reward and I rarely need a whip.
     

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