Originally Posted by jazzyrider
id feel much more of a sense of accomplishment if ultimately I could get those responses out of him without the spurs. That's my goal anyways
I totally agree. I wish you luck with your goal! :)
I guess I have gotten to this point with my horse. I've ridden him on several occasions with no spurs and he still knows what to do. The reason I still use tham is that it's actually easier for me. One of the things spurs do for us is they extend our reach and allow us to give them cues in many different areas of their barrel. I use them often for reaching back and tickling him underneath and behind the girth to lift his hips and back for a lope. I don't think it would be a pretty picture if I tried to reach all the way back there with bare heels. I ride in equitation rowel points with a three inch shank. They're dead useful for getting my feet to places they couldn't normally reach (while keeping my seat correct.)
I guess with english it's a totally different game though. You guys tend to use the bit more than we do, and the spurs you use really don't extend your reach that much anyways.
On that note, it seems this thread has had one oversight. I notice that most of the spur advocates are western riders, and the opposition is english. I could see myself wearing spurs in english but not really using them very much. You guys just don't seem to use them as much if my observation is correct. Anyone mind explaing the use of spurs in english to me?