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This is a discussion on Spurs! within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Spurs for leg aide training
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    05-26-2008, 03:58 AM

I have brought shad back into work this past week and he has been going well. He has been getting disunited less, so fingers crossed!
He hasn't been very responsive to my leg though, so today I used some spurs, just dummy spurs. He wasnt as responsive to them as I thought he would be (i thought he would be a bit jumpy) however he did improve.
I havn't used spurs much before, im a little worried he will become dead to my leg. So that's pretty much my question. What do you think? I was thinking I could just use them every now and then to 'lighten him up' .......?
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    05-26-2008, 05:44 AM
Yer your on the right track about only using them to touch up.

I personally don't like spurs unless you are a higher level rider who understands how to use them. My understanding of it is that you should be using the calf to give your leg aids, not your heel. When you use spurs, you are asking with your heel. Then, when you are ready to move up the more advanced movements, you have no basis to work from and confuse the horse with incorrect aids.

I think that with work your horse will learn to accept the leg aids and find them comforting and will work much better than if you were to rely on spurs.
    05-26-2008, 06:23 AM
Thanks for your reply. He does understand leg aids, he's just being lazy lol
But thanks again
    05-26-2008, 09:18 PM
Originally Posted by mell
thanks for your reply. He does understand leg aids, he's just being lazy lol
But thanks again
I think spurs are a amazing aid. Try Rollers, I personallly don't like dummy spurs.

If he isnt resonding, are you sure they are acually touching his side?
    05-26-2008, 09:50 PM
Rollers are kinder on horses than dummies especially if you dnt know how to use them although in australia in PCAQ (pony club asscoiation Queensland) they are banned. When you have spurs on you don't just use the spurs you have to ask with ur calf if there is no response ask with the spur. I use spurs on my horse just because he is dead to ur leg.
    05-27-2008, 01:28 AM
Thanks for your reply's
I am pretty sure they are touching his side, however I will check next time I ride him.
    05-27-2008, 11:06 AM
Green Broke
I like using a spur every once in a while when I need that extra edge. But depending on your horse he could become dull to the spur as well. To make a horse more sensitive I prefer using a crop and working on transitions (especially walk to trot). I start off at a walk and give him a very small cue (tighten my calf). Most likely the horse will ignore it. Then (don't pause too long) I give him a medium cue (big squeeze). Most dull horses will ignore that. Then I give him a big cue (kick, with a smack with the crop behind my leg). That usually makes them jump forward into the trot, so be very careful with your hands that they don't accidently pop him in the mouth. After several trot steps I go back to the walk and do it again. They will eventually start to anticipate the trot cue and start paying attention to your leg and eventually trot when you just tighten your calf. If you think about it, a horse is sensitive enough to feel a fly land on their side. They are definitely capable of listening to the smallest of cues from their rider. Also keep in mind that your leg must be very still the rest of the ride otherwise your horse will learn to ignore all but the biggest of movements.
    05-27-2008, 04:40 PM
I do the same thing as upnover, but I take out the medium cue. I ask politely, then (as long as the horse knows better) he gets popped with a dressage whip. If you just 'tap him' with the whip or with spurs, that's how the horse becomes dead to a spur or whip. You have to mean it every time that you need it... because then you won't have to 'need' it anymore. :) I had a horse that you COULD NOT ride without spurs, and there was no way in hell you could get him to canter. Now I go into the show ring without spurs.
I find that with dull horses, it isn't a lazy issue... it's a training issue! You say 'go', and the horse responds, 'make me!'
    05-27-2008, 07:31 PM
Thanks everyone. Yeh mayfieldk and upnover, I think that's what i'll do.
Lol I don't own spurs so I am borrowing them and yesterday I realised they were upside down! The straps had been put on wrong. He went better after I had fixed them!
    06-02-2008, 11:24 AM
I personally hate spurs!! Never liked them!! Do you ride with a whip? Next time you give a leg aid and he doesn't respond, give him a sharp tap with the whip, to wake him up :)

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