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Spur Stop/ Spur breaking

This is a discussion on Spur Stop/ Spur breaking within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Spur stop training western pleasure
  • Can spur rip on their mouths

 
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    01-03-2008, 01:51 PM
  #11
Started
???
     
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    01-03-2008, 02:23 PM
  #12
Showing
I Googled "Spur Stop" and came up with this: http://www.horsegroomingsupplies.com.../4/000703.html

Interesting.
     
    01-03-2008, 02:26 PM
  #13
Started
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyani
So, you are, in effect, banned from using rein contact, so you replace it with something that is also an aid to go? Sounds odd and confusing to me. I'm sure it must be more complicated than that, right? I thought western placed a lot of emphasis on the seat and legs to give aids.
From what I understand, they DO place a lot of emphasis on seat and leg. The reading I've done leads me to believe that the spur stop is sort of a shortcut...but again, wp is not my discipline, so maybe I am misunderstanding. I'm sure the wp officianados can shed more light on this.

Ed. I want to expand a little on my disagreement. I don't necessarily think that spur stopping is 'bad': all horse training is based on communication, and if you and your horse understand the language you are speaking to each other in, that's all that really matters.

I just believe that a certain level of standardization in basic concepts allows a horse and rider to move smoothly from discipline to discipline. Or in the horse's case, from owner to owner. Its the same beef I have with the technology industry right now...but that's another kettle of fish:P
     
    01-03-2008, 02:34 PM
  #14
Showing
It would seem that if a horse is trained for a spur stop it is NOT trained to also mean "go". The spur is used for one or the other, not both.

If you were to get on a horse trained for a spur stop and didn't know it, you might be just as suprised as the horse when you want to go and he stands there!

I also found this: http://www.horsegroomingsupplies.com...op-176866.html
     
    01-03-2008, 04:08 PM
  #15
Yearling
I read an article about how controversial the spur stop was. It seemed to say that a lot of riders who are not advanced enough to use is correctly really end up causing their horses to move unaturally because they are lifting their rip cages away out of discomfort. It sounded like there are some riders who are able to use it effectively.

I ride with spurs, using them only when needed, but I don't think I would use the spur stop. I ride more reining, trail, eq. Than WP anyway though.
     
    01-03-2008, 06:17 PM
  #16
tim
Weanling
Well, you see, the thing is, spur stopping is no less "natural" than using a bit. People always assume that kicking horses to move forward, and pulling in their mouth to stop them is natural somehow.

All of these things are cues, and applying pressure with your spurs to stop the horse is no different.

Spur stopping also allows us to branch out and use our spurs to adjust their movement and control their frame better. A problem arises when you try to do this with a horse that does not spur stop. It simply takes these attempts to adjust its body as a cue to move faster. This is of course undesirable in Western Pleasure and many other disciplines.

It may not make a lot of sense, but spur stopping also allows riders to become better with their leg cues, and it helps horses to concentrate by focusing most of the cues in one area. I know personally, when I taught my horse to spur stop, I gained quite a bit of control over his movement.

In pleasure shows, it may seem like the riders are doing almost nothing to their horses, but its a deceiving look. We are constantly giving them direction about where to put their bodies and how to move their legs. When you move stopping from the bit to the spurs, it makes everything so much more even and fluent.

I'll say it again, it's not the easiest thing to explain and people will have whatever opinions they want, but when you experience riding a horse that is controlled primarily by the seat and legs, you will understand the usefulness of spurs and spur stopping.
     
    01-03-2008, 11:55 PM
  #17
Weanling
All my horses Spur Stop and I have never had a problem with the cue or keeping forward momentum in my horses. It is something that both horse and rider MUST know how to do properly or all sorts of problems arise. When done correctly, a horse that spur stops is much more desirable for the top levels of the sport and if people are happy to stay at a 4H or local level then you will never need to use the spur stop, but if you want to win world titles - you need to adapt to what is a better overall result and picture. It is not crull, it is just different to what you all are used to so it is hard to accept that it is a correct way for things to be done.

I found this artical a while back and I found it interesting, it covers the common problems that you all have mentioned associated with the spur stop:

Just as the sport was cleaning up the "peanut roller" controversy, a new controversy began regarding the "spur stop." A current fad, seen in nearly all western 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 a visible "drape" in the rein has become exaggerated. However, it requires time, good riding ability, and careful training to stop a horse with weight and voice alone without tightening the reins. Hence, some trainers, pressed to train horses quickly, train some western pleasure horses to slow down and stop when spur pressure is applied so that they do not have to use the reins.

The precise cues given a horse are not necessarily a problem in itself, but the spur stop has two problems. The first is that riders will often "capture" the horse, or in other words, use too much pressure, which most often results in the horse sucking back in the midsection to escape the pressure, and this body tension causes a horse's gait to become very jerky and unnatural. If used in this incorrect manner for a long period of time, the spur stop can lead to pinched nerves, spine and joint pain, and lameness.

The second problem is mental: spur or leg pressure is a near-universal cue to the horse to go forward in nearly all other disciplines. Therefore, if the horse is later used for some other purpose, it has to be completely retrained. Because horses have long memories and have a difficult time forgetting lessons once learned, retraining can be a time-consuming procedure.
     
    01-05-2008, 06:36 AM
  #18
Foal
I agree with lane, and I am glad I started this thread, hopeing that someone would explain the misconceptions of spur training.

I for one do use the spur stop, and agree once again with lane that is essential to have it if you are showing the upper levels.

Dressage is used from mostly leg and seat movements and no one has a problem with that, once we get the misconception that spurs are only made to make a horse go out our heads we would be more understanding.

And yes I have seen many many horses messed up by this method, but only because the rider or trainer did not know how to use it.

Also like Tim said we need to get it out of our heads that spurs are only there to make a horse go.
     
    01-05-2008, 01:31 PM
  #19
tim
Weanling
Ok, yesterday, after reading the article that Lane posted from Wikipedia on the spur stop, I decided to do a little touching up on it. As you read from Lane's post, the writer of that article seemed to believe that it was universal for all spur stopping horses to have incompetent riders who bring about the extreme cases of lameness and nerve damage. I added a sentence in the defense of spur stopping, claiming any technique, when used irresponsibly, can lead to problems, such as hard mouths in horses who are subjected to excessive bit pressure. I also revised the mental problem paragraph so that "completely retrained" became "partially retrained."

There were other revisions that I did to the Wiki on Western Pleasure, specifically I changed the assertion that all horses must have their poll level with their withers (as they do in the USEF rulebook) to the AQHA standard of a "level topline" which most pleasure riders find to be more reasonable than the USEF headset. Nothing I wrote was extreme in any way, and all of my expressed opinions were reasonable. I also went to great care in order to maintain the preious editors opinions, while toning them down a bit to reflect a less extreme view of the sport which I felt would be more appropriate for readers.

Well, ****, I guess I went and offended someone... The following excerpt came from the same exact place where Lane's quote previously was. Check it out:

"Just as the sport was cleaning up the "peanut roller" controversy, a new controversy began regarding the "spur stop." A current 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 a 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 with weight (and sometimes voice) alone without tightening the reins.

Hence, some trainers, particularly if pressed to train horses quickly, train some western pleasure horses to slow down and stop when spur pressure is applied. Sometimes referred to as "riding the brake," this trend is officially frowned upon by the major western pleasure sanctioning organizations since at least 2003.[6]

The precise cues given a horse are not necessarily a problem in themselves, but the spur stop has several problems and its use is even considered a form of animal abuse in some circles. The first problem is that a rider who uses the spur stop command can "capture" the horse, or in other words, use too much pressure, which most often results in the horse sucking back in the midsection to escape the pressure. This body tension causes a horse's gait to become very jerky and unnatural. If used in this incorrect manner for a long period of time, the spur stop can lead to pinched nerves, spine and joint pain, and lameness.

In defense of the spur stop, its advocates claim that a spur stop is not inherently abusive if properly executed and in that respect is no different from the traditional method of stopping using a combination of light bit pressure and collection with the legs. They argue that classic method does not cause problems when used responsibly, but also can be abused. They point out that horses that are said to have "hard mouths" are a result of irresponsible and excessive bit use.

However, the most significant problem with the spur stop is mental: spur or leg pressure is a near-universal cue in virtually every other equestrianism discipline to ask the horse to go forward. A horse that stops when leg pressure is applied is not useful for almost any other type of riding. Therefore, if the horse is later used for some other purpose, it has to be retrained. But, because horses have long memories and have a difficult time forgetting lessons once learned, retraining can be a time-consuming procedure. With the reality that the horse show career of most animals lasts relatively few years (at least at national level intensity), plus any number of animals initially trained for this discipline may not excel at it and require a switch to something else, most western pleasure horses, particularly those of average ability, can reasonably be anticipated to go on and do different work at a later point in its life. Aside from time and cost of retraining, critics of the spur stop also point out that if a horse is not able to be retrained for a different use or is sold to a new owner who considers its behavior to be balking or other disobedience, it may be deemed a useless animal that could ultimately be sold for horsemeat.
"

Ok, I don't know whether you took the time to read that, but let me sum it up for you with a simple equation...

Western pleasure = awful trainers = spur stopping = animal cruelty = an inevitable need to retrain the animal = HORSE SLAUGHTER

I guess I better stop using my spurs, otherwise my horse is going to end up in the slaughter house... :roll:

I'm not going to waste any more time fixing this article, but I think it's a shame that some people have these opinions and are willing to slander a perfectly respectable riding discipline in order to express them. Even if I felt the same way as this editor does, I would at least have the respect not to post my opinions on a website visited by millions where many readers take what is written to be factual.

The only attempt I made today was to make a further distinction between the USEF and AQHA designated headsets. Otherwise, if you want to read (and maybe edit please) the Wiki on Western Pleasure you can go here. As for me, I may just include a small disclaimer before the article, but we'll see how long that lasts.
     
    01-08-2008, 08:29 PM
  #20
Weanling
Wow Tim..... LOL some one is making little dolls of you and jabbing pins in your eyes :roll: .......

Tessa bear I am glad to hear that Tim and I are not the only people on here prepared to admit that the spur stop is essential for top level riders and horses (Any one who may happen to have a world champion that doesn't spur stop please feel free to jump in to this conversation anytime!) :P
     

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