Originally Posted by nrhareiner
The problem with this is that spurs have nothing to do with forward. I agree that riders who do not know how to use spurs and have poor leg should not use them. However spurs serve a purpose that can not be achieved with just your heal. With spurs you can use the leas amount of leg/cue to achieve you desired out come. Spurs when used properly do not make a dead sided horse they actually do the opposite. They make a horse with lighter sides and more responsive.
What about the horses that are trained to just spurs as a means of going forward and are dead still when you use leg commands? This doesn't come across to me as more responcive, IMO.....I agree 100% that spurs have nothing to do with forward. They are an extention of your leg, as you mentioned before, and should be treated as such. I've always thought of spurs as tools used to refine riding aids and give more detailed cues.
Spurs are not crutches, as many riders use them as. Riders who don't have sufficient leg strength or sufficient ability to ask for a forward motion without spurs, so they strap spurs to their feet, and oh, look how much more the horse responds....