Your problem lies in the fact that all you are doing is walking...you need to be committed to making him work; from day one you should have gotten him to w/t/c...now he's got it firmly set in his mind that all he needs to do when a rider is on him is walk, which has only created a very hard horse. I highly doubt he was 'abused' with the spurs...he is just evading the pressure in the only way he knows how. He may not have even been broken in in the first place and you've just been fortunate not to have been thrown from him prior.
Go back to the basics with this guy; lots of ground work...make sure he knows how to bend, back, etc, from the ground before getting back on.
In your ground work, make sure to do ALOT of upward and downward transitions. Round pen and Lunge line work; W/T/C... make sure your body is as "active" as it needs to be in order to get him to learn that when you are asking for an upward transition, you mean NOW! Start soft (click and raise your arm, if no response, raise your whip or stick, if still no response smack that bum with the whip; as soon as he responds bring your arm back down a bit...don't continue nagging him. )
When you can get consistent responses from the ground, then go back to the saddle work, and use the same type of system; click...no response, squeeze with legs...no response spank with crop. Once he responds leave him alone. He may take off faster than you want at first, but this is OK...just stay with him, and let him figure it out. The more transitions you do each time you ride, the better. Never just get on and walk him...this just makes a horse lazy, and dull to cues. That is just my opinion as a trainer, but just make sure you try to do as many transitions as you can when you ride, so he doesn't just get used to one gait in particular.
"The ideal horseman has the courage of a lion, the patience of a saint, and the hands of a woman..."
Last edited by mom2pride; 03-02-2011 at 09:36 PM.