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Spurs?

This is a discussion on Spurs? within the English Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Horse ignores spurs and whip
  • Do spurs and do riding crops hurt horses

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    11-11-2013, 08:29 AM
  #21
Trained
A shorter whip takes away all your speed at the end of the whip!! Nooo, go longer, go thinner, go more bite so it hurts more when you DO use it. IF your horse is not lightening up like it should then your maximum disciplinary action is NOT strong enough!

I have had several lazy horses including one pony that was absolutely DEAD to leg aids, no matter what you did he would not go. The kids who rode him before I got him weren't allowed to ride with a whip so the first thing I did was get a crop. Ask lightly with the leg, then firmer, then a tap with the crop, and then I would bring that crop down on that pony's ass so hard I nearly fell off from the force of hitting him. It got better but with the crop I never got past the point of having to use it for a light tap. So I got a dressage whip, the longest and thinnest one I could find, and all of a sudden I didn't even have to put much force into hitting him when he was at his laziest/naughtiest. Didn't take long to soften him up. By the time I sold him, when I had that dressage whip on me all I had to do was touch him with my legs and he would go. But he knew when I didn't have it and wouldn't move unless it was there!

I have used spurs to reinforce my forward leg aids and found it does work, but that was on a horse that I couldn't use a whip on because he would bolt. I would much rather use a whip if possible, it's much more effective.
     
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    11-11-2013, 10:30 AM
  #22
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by NaeNae87    
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.
Yes but if you are on a lesson horse, or somebody else's horse that isn't your, this may not be within your means to do. And if the owner says "use spurs" then you do what the owner says. I agree that more ground work needs done, but it really depends on the situation.
     
    11-11-2013, 11:35 AM
  #23
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by blue eyed pony    
A shorter whip takes away all your speed at the end of the whip!! Nooo, go longer, go thinner, go more bite so it hurts more when you DO use it. IF your horse is not lightening up like it should then your maximum disciplinary action is NOT strong enough!
Interesting debate, to my mind I don't want to actually hurt my horse, just get his attention, and I can do that with a shorter whip with a popper, believe me a hard bat wakes them up.

Personally I would never use force behind the hit with a long schooling whip, it is designed to be a refining tool, used to touch and direct, not as a punishment.
NaeNae87 and TessaMay like this.
     
    11-11-2013, 02:59 PM
  #24
Started
Here is a GREAT article on use of spurs
When and why to use…or not to use…spurs. | Stacy Westfall Horseblog
     
    11-11-2013, 11:28 PM
  #25
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden Horse    
Interesting debate, to my mind I don't want to actually hurt my horse, just get his attention, and I can do that with a shorter whip with a popper, believe me a hard bat wakes them up.

Personally I would never use force behind the hit with a long schooling whip, it is designed to be a refining tool, used to touch and direct, not as a punishment.
To each their own, I have just found that a crop is ineffective on a lazy horse. I never put all my strength behind my dressage whip unless my horse is ignoring all else. I have had a horse completely ignore a crop no matter what I did with it or how hard I hit her with it, but with a dressage whip, even a tap stings and THAT worked.

Do bear in mind though that the filly I had that ignored a crop altogether is a stubborn extremely dominant witch and even my mother [who owns her now], who has 25 years on me in the experience department and is extremely experienced with lazy horses and gentle ways of perking them up, cannot get this filly to do something she doesn't want to do without a significant amount of demanding.

My system, and Mum's, goes a little like ask, tell, demand, promise, enforce. Depending on how educated the horse is I might skip a step or two but never the ask. My old boy was very lazy, but also very educated, and knew better than to ignore me, so sometimes with him I went straight from ask to enforce [leg aid to hard crack with the dressage whip, on the odd occasion I actually used one, or a hard jab with the spurs]. Never failed to lighten him up for two to three weeks at a time.

I do think it depends a lot on someone's personal experience in the matter. For me, crops are for jumping, and only for use on a horse that's likely to try to stop. I don't even own one anymore, haven't bothered in nearly three years. Short with a popper to make a loud noise, to me, is a warning. There isn't enough bite behind it if you come across a horse that will ignore that warning.
     
    11-11-2013, 11:34 PM
  #26
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden Horse    
Not the Maximillian? Yeah that actually sounds like Max
You got it, GH! Wouldn't change him for the world. All these 'annoying' traits are what contribute to his phenomenal suitability in a plethora of hairy activities! ;p

Opted for warmer boots rather than spurs today and while he still listened to me if coming up on trees on the trail, moving off my leg so as to not rub me, when I needed his ass in the ditch for a passing vehicle, four strides in, he was still ignoring me. I had to pull him in, tripping and stumbling like a tool, rather than a nice lateral coordinated drift in (shallow ditch). Pffft.
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    11-14-2013, 06:30 PM
  #27
Foal
Wouldn't you rather use a touch of a spur instead of smacking a horse with a dressage whip?
     
    11-14-2013, 08:15 PM
  #28
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by wtwg    
Wouldn't you rather use a touch of a spur instead of smacking a horse with a dressage whip?
That would entirely depend on what I am asking for, and the horse I was asking it of.
     
    11-14-2013, 08:47 PM
  #29
Green Broke
Wtwg--I think the other issue here is that spurs are much easier to abuse if your leg is not strong enough/if you are too novice of a rider. Whips are a bit more foolproof.
     
    11-14-2013, 08:53 PM
  #30
Foal
My opinion on the "abuse" of spurs is that most horses simply wouldn't tolerate it. Certainly there are exceptions im sure. But a lot of riders would end up being a lawn dart if they used their spurs inappropriately....especially a beginner. ;)
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