Originally Posted by Bluebird
Ah, they must be used more in western riding. I have competed at dressage, done hacking (trail rides) and never ever had reason to use spurs on my Clydesdale. Its rare that we use them in England apart from when doing top level competitive dressage or Polo and even then, it is rider choice.
Well I am an event rider, my british coach who was GP Dressage in the UK wouldn't let me sit on a horse without them. My Olympic(he was on the Canadian Event Team) event coach wouldn't let me ride without them. Same with my GP Jumper coach, who was from the UK. I am not a western rider other then to do some lower level stuff once and awhile. I focus on Eventing and Hunter/Jumper.
As already mentioned, you have to make an effort to use the spur. If your leg and foot are in proper position it should never touch the horse. Its always there as a just in case back up like a crop.