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Retraining a 'spur trained' horse?

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  • Woman spurring horse
  • Retraining a spur trained western pleasure horse

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    11-07-2012, 06:33 PM
  #51
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by GotaDunQH    
^ and I also ride hunt seat in addition to western because I believe in a well rounded and versatile rider but have no snobbery for either. But in my 51 years of riding and showing, I will say that I have found the hunter riders to have more snobbery because they think western is easy. I'm not putting them down...it's just because they have never ridden a good western horse to realize how hard it really is. I don't fault them, I just wish people would get out of their comfort zone and try ALL the seats before they cast judgement. How can someone say something is easy if they never tried it and tried it on a well trained horse??!!
That is so true! Nothing easy about riding or training a horse period! Not sure where people get off thinking that their discipline is the hardest. I've done almost all, so I know what your saying. It is possible to be a versatile rider, and have a versatile horse. But it takes a lot of work!
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    11-07-2012, 07:01 PM
  #52
Green Broke
I refuse to compete at any level because of such nonsense.

I have my horse for my own pleasure. Competition steals the pleasure from me as things get much to serious for many to allow others to enjoy it.

Ride your own ride and don't worry about what other people think.
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    11-07-2012, 07:12 PM
  #53
Green Broke
1) I HAVE SEEN huge sores larger than a silver dollar left on horses mouth from Snaffle bits. 2) You are looking at a horse trained for LEg and Seat..NOT Spur.. 3) Why take and ruin a good trained horse to use in direct contact mouth pressure ? 4) Heavy Hands make any bit Mean . Heavy hands constant pressure will ruin a horse. A good jumping dressage English horse is trained with seat and leg ques ..
     
    11-07-2012, 07:17 PM
  #54
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by GotaDunQH    
^ I remember when I moved one of my WP horses to an H/J barn because it had an indoor and I needed one for the winter to get ready for spring AQHA show season. The woman who owned the barn looked at me when I put my western saddle in the tack room...."I can't believe I have a western saddle in my tack room!" And she was serious! All the other boarders would not give me the time of day, even though I introduced myself and attempted to make conversation. Funny thing was, I also rode this horse hunt seat because I did all-arounds with him. But the whole time I was there, I only used my western saddle and I could hear people whispering as I walked down the aisle with my spurs on, tacked my horse up western and went into the indoor. I would turn around REAL quick and they would immediately shut up and just look at me.
Haha-I have done the same thing, and may have to again soon, as there are very few indoors in northern VA other than H/J or dressage. I have actually had them ask me "how do you get your horse to do that?" lol
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    11-07-2012, 07:25 PM
  #55
Foal
I'm not quite sure if the horse you described is spur training, I am assuming you mean spur stop.

Spur stop horses stop when you squeeze your spurs into their side. The reason they do this is because they are taught when you squeeze it means to back. So if you squeeze with your spurs, they stop and you keep squeezing they will back. This is how my spur stop horse was trained, at least.

I personally really like the spur stop training, it is very useful and I definitely stay off my horses face. Which he likes, he will get very soled up and not want to move. That being said, I can take the spur stop away from him and ride him like a normal horse and he will act just as good. The only reason I know this is because he takes it away himself when he decides he doesn't want to listen.

So I would say if you are comfortable staying off the face a little more than normal, like have slight, as in very slight rein pressure then I think you will do fine. That is if you end up liking the horse in general. Also, I think it would be fine putting him in a snaffle since spur stop horses aren't trained to be on their face and have direct rein contact. I ride my spur stop horse in a snaffle ALL the time because he is so light and I hardly ever have to touch his face.
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    11-12-2012, 09:40 PM
  #56
Foal
A horse can be trained to be "light" in the mouth with any bit. But yes, in AQHA and other associations, a curb bit is required over 5 yrs old. And it is NOT harsh if the rider knows what he/she is doing. A snaffle bit can be harsh in the wrong hands.

My horse is spur trained and I was going to do a partial lease a few years ago. The woman freaked when I said she was spur trained... she said she was going to "retrain" her. Needless to say I didn't let this woman do a partial lease. The last thing you should think about doing if leasing a horse is retraining it. More than likely, that horse is trained exactly how the owner wants it.

Spur trained horses can do anything any other horse can do if you know how to ride them properly. The barn I'm at shows IBHA and used to show AQHA years ago. There are often classes with jumps, being spur trained does not hold them back from any event. If anything, it can give an advantage.
     
    11-12-2012, 09:57 PM
  #57
Foal
Quote:
Originally Posted by paintedpastures    
Spur stop controversy {Taken from wikipedia}
A new fad, seen in nearly all breeds, requires a horse to perform with an extremely loose, draped rein at all times. Western pleasure horses have always traveled on a fairly loose rein, but in recent years the visible "drape" in the rein has become exaggerated.[4] However, it requires time, good riding ability, and careful training to correctly teach a horse "self carriage," particularly to slow or stop by responding to only a rider's use of seat position (and sometimes voice) without tightening the reins.[5] Thus, an alternative method of training to slow a horse down without the use of the reins gave rise to a new, highly controversial, technique known as the "spur stop," an unconventional method used by some trainers to train horses to slow down and stop when spur pressure is applied.
Because spur, heel or leg pressure is generally used to ask a horse to go faster, this technique is sometimes referred to by its critics as "riding the brake" and is frowned upon by several major western pleasure sanctioning organizations since at least 2003, when AQHA put out a series of videos on correct and incorrect style and way of going for western pleasure horses, showing a "hit list" of undesirable traits not to be rewarded in the show ring, with the spur stop leading the list.[6]
This controversy in Western Pleasure circles resembles the debate over Rollkur in the field of dressage, particularly over the question of whether the practice constitutes animal abuse.
Experts differ on the validity of the spur stop. As stated by trainer Bob Avila: "the spur stop is “the worst thing ever invented. If I were to get a horse in for training that had a spur stop on him, I could do one event on him, period: Western pleasure.” Taking the opposing view, Mark Sheridan, an AQHA judge and trainer, has said: "You should not have any problems with the spur stop, and the transition to whatever events you decide to do with [the horse]. Personally, I put a spur stop on just the stop and back, on my western riders."
A less extreme method is referred to as putting "buttons" on the horse. A "button" is simply a leg or spur position that is trained by operant conditioning that tells the horse to travel at a particular gait or speed. These are often highly customized to an individual horse and rider team. While less extreme than the spur stop, such techniques still take the horse away from traditional responses to the riding aids of seat, hands, weight and voice, which can also lead to an excessively artificial way of going by the animal.
My horse is spur trained AND she is a hunt horse... its actually quite simple and is in no way shape or form inhumane or cruel. I use very light leg cues. Tap to move forward, LIGHT constant pressure to stop, and if she is stopped and I continue constant pressure, she will back up, without touching the reins. This comes in handy when doing a discipline rail class, when the judge can ask you to drop your reins and back up. I agree, some ppl are very cruel with spurs. A horse at our barn has indents in his side from his previous trainer... which he lunged at and tried to take a bite out of the last time he saw the old trainer at a show.

I am also teaching my horse western pleasure... all 30+ horses at our barn can do both english and western using spurs. If you know how to use them correctly, you and your horse can achieve amazing things.
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