Originally Posted by Mason72
use mild ones. I was a firm believer in them for a hesitant nudge every so often.. a friend of mine had a horse that would just side jump every so often.. so I told him id work him. I rode the horse for about three hours.. when id feel him going to jump id apply pressure and if he jumped id use the leg in the direction he was going harder. When I got back to the barn and told him I couldnt get him to stop I looked at his sides and it made my stomach turn. I was trying to be careful but I did damage.. I swore then that Id never wear them again.. or at least not the type I had on.
Don't blame the tools, blame the operator ;)
I ride nearly always in spurs, and never apply them unless I have to. I've given a couple of horses a few good thumps with the leg when they have barged into it - and have never caused spur wounds.
This is why you don't wear spurs unless you have a perfectly quiet, controlled lower leg in all paces, and if the horse is giving you some trouble. Until the leg can be 100% controlled, don't add a spur to it.
When the leg CAN be controlled, adding a spur is a brilliant way to improve the sensitivity to an aid - particularly in the lateral and collected work.
However, I don't understand why your instructor says that spurs will replace the use of the bit?
The spur is a driving (forward) aid, while the bit is a restraining aid. If you are over using the bit, you shouldn't be adding spurs, but working on your seat so that you do not rely on the reins.