OTTBs and spurs?

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OTTBs and spurs?

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    11-22-2009, 02:53 PM
OTTBs and spurs?

I bought my mare recently from a lady that was getting out of horses at my barn. She is quite young, 4, and off-the-track. She's a little flighty on the ground but nothing I wouldn't expect from a 4 year old.

I have noticed under saddle she's responsive but almost sluggish. To keep her trotting or at the canter for longer than two strides I have to keep my leg on her. I'm contemplating spurs. I use them normally but haven't with her because I assumed (ha) that she would be super freaky under saddle.

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    11-22-2009, 03:30 PM
Spurs should only be used for lateral movements and for refining aids when horse and rider are both ready, not to get a horse to go. If she is sluggish and almost lazy, then she needs motivation and incentive to go where you want her to go. Point to point exercises are great for that.

Of course you first need to rule out any physical issues along with making sure her tack fits and is in the right spot and shimmed correctly.
    11-22-2009, 03:40 PM
^ Agree, spurs should only be used for refinement of leg aids, NOT for increased forward.

Use escalating pressure until she learns to move off the slightest pressure.
    11-22-2009, 03:50 PM
Agreed on both counts. One thing to try is to do lots of transitions (i'm a big proponent of tranistion). Should help her get a little more energetic, at least, it has with my horses.
    11-22-2009, 04:21 PM
Spurs are for the refinement of cues. One cue that they can refine is 'forward'. I say go ahead and try them but use caution and introduce them first on the ground and then in the saddle in a round pen or arena.
    11-22-2009, 04:34 PM
You said you have used them before so I assume that you know how to use them and aren't a beginner ... if this is correct then try them. If you do used them I would suggest a little tom thumb spur to start. I used one with my mare- but not for speed just to get her to listen to my leg a little better (we have been dabbling in Dressage).

Good luck!
    11-22-2009, 04:42 PM
A suggestion...

I agree with superstarssugar. Instead of spurs why not work more on transitions?

For example when I am training a colt I give them a 3 chances to move out, first I cluck to them, if no response I lay my leg on while clucking, and if no response i'll finally, while doing both of the first ques, under over my reins with uncreasing pressure until they respond correctly. If you do try this be prepared that the horse may balk if you have to under over. :)
    11-22-2009, 06:15 PM
I use spurs on jasper. I started to use them for Barrel racing to like others said refine my leg cues and now I use them almost all the tiime
    11-22-2009, 06:36 PM
Originally Posted by kevinshorses    
Spurs are for the refinement of cues. One cue that they can refine is 'forward'. I say go ahead and try them but use caution and introduce them first on the ground and then in the saddle in a round pen or arena.
This is true. Forward is a indeed a cue that can be refined, but the problem is that since the majority of what we do while riding is forward motion, it's easy to overuse spurs, which eventually leads to a horse that won't listen to leg. That's not really refining, is it? It seems like a better plan all around to do activities with your horse that will contribute to a horse with more impulsion, instead of just adding gadgets.
    11-22-2009, 08:22 PM
What I always do with any horse with a forward issue, bc it works so well: soft leg pressure, the med, then hard, if they havent gotten the picture yet, you cluck ONE TIME. If they still don't get it you're going to have to use your crop until they do.

If you cluck a million times they are just going to start ignoring the cluck, so only cluck one time

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