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Spurs?

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  • Horse is a deadhead without spurs
  • Spurs on a dead head horse

 
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    03-30-2010, 09:52 PM
  #21
Showing
^ lol I suppose I have to agree with that. But many horses trained to go forward at the feel of spurs become dead to just a leg squeeze
     
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    03-30-2010, 10:07 PM
  #22
Started
Post

To all those who say that spurs are used to go forward, there's a thing called spur stop. That's when the spurs aren't used to go faster or move forward but, if I understand correctly, to slow down and stop. A lot of the horses at our barn and trained that at the lightest touch of the spur, their head goes down almost immediatly.
     
    03-30-2010, 10:33 PM
  #23
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by TheRoughrider21    
To all those who say that spurs are used to go forward, there's a thing called spur stop. That's when the spurs aren't used to go faster or move forward but, if I understand correctly, to slow down and stop. A lot of the horses at our barn and trained that at the lightest touch of the spur, their head goes down almost immediatly.
I do not think too many where saying that spurs where used to go forward. As for the head dropping when you squeeze the horse. That is what all mine do. Makes for a nice trick when you have someone ask a yes or no question.
     
    03-30-2010, 10:43 PM
  #24
Trained
Quote:
^ lol I suppose I have to agree with that. But many horses trained to go forward at the feel of spurs become dead to just a leg squeeze
Again, this is the key. Spurs are NOT meantt o ask for forward, and if that is what they are being used for, they are being used wrong and the training is incorrect. So yes, a lot of horses trained to go forward off spurs become dead to the leg - Because the training was incorrect from the start.

Properly used, spurs actually sensitize the horse to the leg - When I have mine on, I hardly have to twitch a calf muscle to get a walk-canter depart. I just have to tighten up one side of my thigh & butt to get a flying change.

To do those things without the spurs I need louder leg aids that look messier and aren't as 'refined' - Which is fine if that's all you want/need! I only wear my spurs when i'm showing, I trail ride and do PC most of the time without them. But there are situations where people want/need that refinement and level of sensitivity.
     
    03-31-2010, 01:03 AM
  #25
Trained
Just going to add something. My horse, who does pretty well in competitions if I do say so my self, and is pretty well trained, again - own opinion, is a very good teacher.
He is a sensitive little bugger. As soon as I clamp my legs on he stops. He hates being told what to do, where and how to do it, every stride. So I take my legs off, ask for something briefly, and take them right back off and we have a splendid time.
I would not call the horse "dead-sided" because when I put my leg on he doesn't go. I would call him sensitive in that I need to ask correctly before he's going to go to the moon and back for me. And he does, the more I take my leg off and let him breath.

Oh and I wear spurs, big honkin' ones too. Yet my horse doesn't go forward from them, hmmm.
     
    03-31-2010, 06:04 PM
  #26
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mercedes    
Spurs are for the 'subtleties' of 'advanced' work. They are NOT to make a horse go forward or sideways. I repeat, spurs are NOT for dead-sided horses.

Since your horse is dead-sided, you're going to have to use 'something' to reinforce the leg aid and retrain him. This 'something' should be a dressage whip...yes, dressage whip even if you ride western...because of it's length.

Personally, I would reteach the horse 'forward' on the ground first, but for all those who frown upon such a practice and just want to get on and ride:

Make sure you know prior what the leg aid/s are for what you're asking. Apply the leg aid in a normal fashion...release. If the horse does not respond, you will apply the leg aid again, in a 'firmer' fashion...release.

Note here: It is the RELEASE that tells the horse to move, NOT the application of the aid. It was by the very fashion of constantly pressing and never releasing that got the horse into this situation in the first place.

If the horse does not respond, then you will apply the leg aid a third time, in the 'firmest' fashion and give a good tap of the whip directly behind your leg. I say 'tap', but it might be a 'smack'. That's on you to decide how much reinforcement you need.

And then off you go. Every time the horse starts to suck back behind the leg, you will reapply the correct leg aid and back it up with the needed amount of whip aid, until such time as the horse responds consistently to the leg.

The horse MUST be ridden forward during this retraining. Pulling or hanging on the reins is going to be counter productive. Bumping the horse constantly with an unsteady leg is going to be counter productive. Any sort of inconsistency with the aids is going to be counter productive.

It should take about 5 minutes to fix the horse for that first ride, and then only a few more rides after that to see significant improvement. Within a few weeks you should find yourself only needing to reinforce the leg on the rare occasion and you should also find the horse is more and more responsive to less and less leg aid.
I finally got out and did a little work with Oakey, but I had some problems. I did just what you said to do with the leg aids (but I couldn't quite figure out what to do with the whip). He'd only go into a walk about 35% of the times I asked him too. What might I have been doing wrong? How specifically do I use the whip? Does it matter whether I'm bareback or in the saddle?
     
    03-31-2010, 06:45 PM
  #27
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyler    
I finally got out and did a little work with Oakey, but I had some problems. I did just what you said to do with the leg aids (but I couldn't quite figure out what to do with the whip). He'd only go into a walk about 35% of the times I asked him too. What might I have been doing wrong? How specifically do I use the whip? Does it matter whether I'm bareback or in the saddle?
You use the whip to reinforce the leg aid that's being ignored. You use it as hard as you need to to get him to respond to the leg aid. Note: its use may surprise him and he may pop forward...you'll want to go with that and not haul back on him.

So ask him to move with the leg aid...release. If he doesn't respond tell him more loudly with the leg aid...release. If he still hasn't responded, demand he responds with the loudest leg aid and use the whip at the same time to tell him in uncertain terms that he is to move his butt right this second.

Rinse and repeat.

It should take no more than 3/4 times for him to realize you mean business. If I got on him it would only take me once. But he and I don't have a 'history' or a relationship, so I would get to start fresh with him. You've got to work through old relationship habits so it's going to take you a few more tries.

I actually prefer to use the whip on the shoulder for forward and behind my leg for lateral work. For you, I think you should probably just use it behind your leg at this stage....not on his flank, but directly behind your leg.
     
    03-31-2010, 06:58 PM
  #28
Weanling
Okay. Now I follow you. Thanks! =)
     
    03-31-2010, 07:36 PM
  #29
Weanling
You solved my BIGGEST horse related problem! A million thank you's!!!

I was able to ride him all over the place, and only had to use the whip twice before he got the message. :) Thanks again for helping me out!
     
    04-01-2010, 12:15 AM
  #30
Banned
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tyler    
You solved my BIGGEST horse related problem! A million thank you's!!!

I was able to ride him all over the place, and only had to use the whip twice before he got the message. :) Thanks again for helping me out!
WOOHOO!!!!!!!!

NOW! Don't let yourselves fall back into the habit. Keep refining it so that you can just think 'go forward' and he'll do it. From now on you may only have to touch him with it to remind him.
     

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