Spur Training

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Spur Training

This is a discussion on Spur Training within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    03-23-2009, 08:34 PM
Spur Training

I've already posted this on another forum but I want as many opinions and ideas as possible so I am turning to the people on here. :)

I've been considering spur training my horse. He's already in the works of backing up when I apply pressure with both spurs and say "back". He is learning/knows not to move when pressure is applied until I make a sound. (Aka spur+cluck for walk, spur+double cluck=jog, spur+kiss=lope) So, two spurs + "back" = back.

What I would like to be able to do is apply pressure with one spur (I only use two for backing up), and have him round up (which he does already) and slow down. He does slow down slightly but I would like it to be more of my speed control button.

My question is, how would I go about achieving this? I could and will ask my trainer next time I go for a lesson, but money is tight at the moment and I honestly don't know when the next time I'll get to go is. So, for all you people out there that know about spur training, help me out?

Also, I have been considering teaching him to spur stop, but I'm not sure if this is really necessary or beneficial. I've heard people say they love it, but then have also heard people that hate it. What are the benefits of it? Should I even bother? He stops now with a simple "whoa".
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    03-23-2009, 08:47 PM
My horses have been "spur" trained but it really isn't anything new. It is basically just knowing how to use your legs properly. It is hard for me to explain things in type rather than show someone in person. It will take some getting used to if you haven't been using your legs but once you get it you will get it and ride that way all of the time. I guess I would start by just getting him to move off of your leg in half pass. Do it each way but take your time and don't get pushy.
    03-23-2009, 08:55 PM
Half pass as in side pass or are those two totally different things? He can sidepass both ways with my leg on (if I want him to move left, I use my right leg) and clucking.
    03-23-2009, 09:01 PM
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Mine is spur broke and I do like it alot. If you have a solid seat you would probably really like it. I didn't train him though, I have a trainer that did that for me so I can't really offer any help onhow to do it...
    03-23-2009, 09:05 PM
Try to do that but keep him moving forward at the same time. That is just one thing to get him used to you laying your legs on him. Also do lots of bending, use your inside leg to keep his shoulder up and your outside leg to keep his rear engaged. When walking ask for his face and sqeeze lightly to get him to pick up his belly. When you are ready try it at the trot. Also remember that you can use your legs independently.
    03-23-2009, 09:11 PM
Thank you very much! :)
    03-23-2009, 09:17 PM
Hey guys!

I have dabbled in Western Pleasure, but only on the backyard show circuit (we still gave some cues through the reins and whatnot ^^)

I have a question for ya on this topic...

When I was brought up in riding/training horses, I had always learned that a Whip/Crop and Spurs are Training Aids, but not Riding Tools. They should be used to re-sensitize your horse and then they can be taken off/removed. The best analogy they gave me, is that they should never become a "crutch", meaning you cannot ride your horse without them.

In "professional" (lol I don't know what else to call them!) Western Pleasure horses... do they ever learn to ride without the Spur? Or has the Spur become a permanent extention of your heel? Can't you eventually train the horse to cue off your heel, not the spur?

Please don't think me dense! I'm always up for learning something new! Jasmine, my Buckskin mare, was an 80's Peanut Roller WP horse. When I showed her in the backyard circuit she turned heads and always placed in the blues. She never had the crippled lope, her lope was a 3 beat walk. It was charming to ride. She didn't short her strides in any of her gaits, she stepped fully into them, only she was moving her legs at the jog and lope as slow as she did when she walks. I was able to control her with my heels, but I preferred using the reins (i ride with a tom thumb, not a high port or med. Port bit)

Anywhoo... I look forward to your repsonses! =) I hope you don't mind me side tracking the thread for a minute ^^
    03-23-2009, 09:35 PM
My spurs are an extension of my leg. My legs are too short and my horse is too big for me to get his belly picked up without them. Most pleasure horses are trained with spurs and always ridden with spurs. I have also noticed that a lot of high level dressage riders also wear spurs.
    03-23-2009, 09:42 PM
I have noticed a lot of people who take a certain discipline to a more "serious" level tend to use a crop and/or spurs all time. Barrel Racers, Jumpers, Eventers, Hunters, Reiners, Team Penners, Ropers, etc. it's always bugged me, truth be told, lol!

Thanks for the reply Laura! I noticed your horsie is a giant :o the leg extension makes sense in your case! =)
    03-24-2009, 08:27 PM
I would not reccomend training your horse with spur stop, or getting the horse to slow off of your spur. The result of these this often are not plesant. Many horses tend to get grumpy the more and more that you ride them like this and therefore are always pinning there ears, which is not pretty in the ring. Spur stop also seems to get the horse to stop heavy on the forehand, and it tends to shorten the horses stride. I would go with another method of training your horse to slow down. I know that many AQHA judges hate to see horses that are trained spur stop and will often mark you down because of it. It is very unnatural and will mess up your horses natural movement. I don't want you to think that I am one of these people that are against WP and there speed and headsets because I am not. I show WP at AQHA shows and I am all for a gorgeous slow lope, although I am extremly against spur stop.

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