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.