Are spurs a good idea?
   

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Are spurs a good idea?

This is a discussion on Are spurs a good idea? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Is it ok to use spurs?
  • How to wear and use spurs

 
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    10-03-2007, 08:15 PM
  #1
Foal
Are spurs a good idea?

Ok my horse is really lazy it takes so much leg its not even funny. I was thinking of getting some like prince of wales or whatever they are called to wake her up. I have a show coming up on the weekend we are just doing beginner walk trot and walk trot canter. I will be able to ride her this friday do you think I should get some?
     
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    10-03-2007, 08:22 PM
  #2
Started
I finally had to get spurs. I only wear them with Boo is I need to. Get more advice but if you do get spurs get really dull ones. You can also get barrel spurs.....need pics?
Just in case...

Dull Roweled Spurs


Barrel Bumper Spurs


Hope this helps some!
     
    10-03-2007, 08:50 PM
  #3
Foal
Ah yes, spurs are wonderful - when used correctly.

If you are just beginning to show walk/trot/canter shows, I would be a little leery to have you start using spurs. Until you have a VERY well established, strong, consistant leg, I would avoid spurs for now. Lots of no-stirrup work, leg yields, rounding out the horse, will help your leg get stronger and coach the muscles into the right places. Spurs might act as a crutch for you, and inhibit your progression in terms of leg.

I could be way off on your ability though, and leg ability, so I would suggest Tom-Thumb spurs (I believe they are the same as prince of wales". Tiny tiny, just add a little bit of lift to your horses step I love my little tom thumbs - just be careful not to jab too much. Also, if you work with a trainer, make sure to check with them first! Best of luck!
     
    10-03-2007, 09:25 PM
  #4
Started
I would have to say a big NO for the spurs. Sorry, but I don't believe that spurs should be used to get a horse to go faster. Spurs are only meant for lateral movements and up-and-down movements like passage or piafe. If someone "has" to use spurs to get the horse to go faster, or to "motivate" a horse, then they have dulled the horse to their leg. That's just the truth. A brace in the body started as a brace in the mind.

I also do not agree with riding with a constant leg. That is just micromanagement and it will dull the horse to your leg. When I ask my horse to go, I ask with my energy first, then seat, then leg, then I will create commotion above him in the form of slapping my leg, clucking to him, or swinging a small rope or string across my shoulders. If he still doesn't go then I will lightly spank him with the rope. When he goes I release EVERYTHING, but I still flow with him. It's HIS job to maintain the gait asked of him, and if he breaks gait I ALLOW IT TO HAPPEN. If I keep saying "Don't stop! Keep going!" he will not learn to maintain gait because he is never allowed to make the mistake. Now, because I have SENSITIZED my horse to my leg aids, he goes faster with ONLY my energy. I don't even use seat or leg.
     
    10-03-2007, 11:35 PM
  #5
Foal
I really do not recommend spurs for impulsion. They are for asking your horse to move laterally. The problem is much deeper and is NOT a quick Fix. Your horse needs to be motivated by something that interests her not by punishment. Spurs used for speed may cause her to buck, kick up, ring her tail, shake her head, or start feeling resentment/fear towards you, her partner.
Horses like this do well with rewards at the end of a straight line. There are ways such as: point to point exercises that end in a rest, a treat, a great patch of grass, while you scratch her neck. She will get more motivated to move forward if there is a reason that interests her and you can build on that. You can do this from the ground or the saddle. The slower she moves from one point to another the longer she gets to rest there, after a few times she will hurry to that sweet spot to rest or get her treat. You are using the psychology of your horse to train her to do what you ultimately want. This can take a week or two but it does work wonders if you are PATIENT. After a bit you can only have treats occaisionally and then not at all. The end result is a horse that wants to be with you, is willing to work for you, and understands what her responsibilities are in your partnership.
Also there is always saddle fit to consider. A horse is not inclined to want to move out if the saddle is pinching and spurs will only cause more discomfort.
I hope this gives you some ideas, I wish I could tell you there was a faster way, but if you want to develop a long term relationship, using psychology is always better that using force.

Check out my website for more ideas.

Good Luck.

Barb Apple
www.BarbApple.com
     
    10-03-2007, 11:43 PM
  #6
Foal
Knowing how to wear/ correctly use spurs is part of being a good horseman- ask any major trainer. I would say yes to the spurs, but not for this show. Give both of you more time to get used to them before using them in a show
     
    10-03-2007, 11:49 PM
  #7
Foal
The key is the correct use of the spurs. Using them to communicate for finesse and accuracy of movement is very different than using them to create physical discomfort.
     
    10-04-2007, 11:14 AM
  #8
Foal
Spurs are not evil. Unlike what alot of people think.

Yes, some people use them unwisesly. Some do not understand cues, are a beginner or simply ignorant and end up pulling on the horse's mouth while simultaneously jabbing with spurs.

However, when used corectly, spurs are an excellent tool. They should only be used on insensitive horses or horses that are simply ignoring you. If you consider using your leg to bump your hrose along, or even boot heel, it may not be enough cue and the hrose grows to completely ignore you. A spur is a good way to get your horse to listen to you again. They are an excellent tool as they give a sharper cue and you don't have to use as much force as with just your heel.

My horse was lazy when I started riding him. I would use my leg. Then gentle spur pressure. Then firmer spur pressure and I would show him my rein, which he knows means I may be about to slap his rear. Now it just takes gentle leg pressure to get him to move.

People have different preferences when it comes to spurs. I'm talking Western, I don't know anything about English spurs. You can use big rowels with many points- alot of people think that these are cruel but they aren't at all. In fact, a person really jabbing a horse has more chance of puncturing the hide with a small spur than a large one. I myself use a small spur rowel, about 3/4 of an inch, I'm sure of the exact dimensions. If you are long-legged, you can use goose-neck spurs which have a shank that comes upward so you can reach the horse easier. You may want a short shank or long shank- just depends on you. :) Good luck!
     
    10-04-2007, 12:51 PM
  #9
Foal
Spurs are not bad I wear them on every horse I ride even if its there first time with someone on there back, but spurs are not to be used to make a horse to go faster, ask ,click, smack if you use spurs to make your horse to go faster then you will just make him more dead, spurs will not fix that just ask him to go and when he does not smack.

"I also do not agree with riding with a constant leg. That is just micromanagement and it will dull the horse to your leg. When I ask my horse to go, I ask with my energy first, then seat, then leg, then I will create commotion above him in the form of slapping my leg, clucking to him, or swinging a small rope or string across my shoulders. If he still doesn't go then I will lightly spank him with the rope. When he goes I release EVERYTHING, but I still flow with him. It's HIS job to maintain the gait asked of him, and if he breaks gait I ALLOW IT TO HAPPEN. If I keep saying "Don't stop! Keep going!" he will not learn to maintain gait because he is never allowed to make the mistake. Now, because I have SENSITIZED my horse to my leg aids, he goes faster with ONLY my energy. I don't even use seat or leg."

Horses do not have curse control you have to keep your foot on the gas, and if you lightly spank your horse every time then you will have to "lightly spank" your horse every time and then he will just become dead to that, if you smack him like you mean it then when you ask then he will go.

"I don't even use seat or leg" that's my favorite part, your horse must be reading your mind because when you know how to use your seat and leg you can ride a horse that has never been rode and he under stands what you are asking. So more power to your energy, I wish I knew how to use my energy to get my horses to move.
     
    10-04-2007, 02:19 PM
  #10
Started
"I also do not agree with riding with a constant leg. That is just micromanagement and it will dull the horse to your leg. When I ask my horse to go, I ask with my energy first, then seat, then leg, then I will create commotion above him in the form of slapping my leg, clucking to him, or swinging a small rope or string across my shoulders. If he still doesn't go then I will lightly spank him with the rope. When he goes I release EVERYTHING, but I still flow with him. It's HIS job to maintain the gait asked of him, and if he breaks gait I ALLOW IT TO HAPPEN. If I keep saying "Don't stop! Keep going!" he will not learn to maintain gait because he is never allowed to make the mistake. Now, because I have SENSITIZED my horse to my leg aids, he goes faster with ONLY my energy. I don't even use seat or leg."

Horses do not have curse control you have to keep your foot on the gas, and if you lightly spank your horse every time then you will have to "lightly spank" your horse every time and then he will just become dead to that, if you smack him like you mean it then when you ask then he will go.

Why should be keep telling the horse to go? It's HIS responsibility to keep going, and it's OUR responsibility to ride fluidly, to stay out of his way and to ride with energy. By that I mean that if you want the horse to trot, you have to have a 'trot' feel in your body that the horse can pick up on. Riding is way more then just kicking or squeezing a horse to get them to go faster. When you want to make a downward transition, instead of automatically using the reins, you use your energy. Say you are trotting. You release the trotting feel and get a 'walk' feel in your body. If the horse doesn't respond, then use the reins. And when I lightly spank the horse if he doesn't respond, each time he breaks gait and I have to do the sequence again I GO A LITTLE FASTER THROUGH THE PROCESS EACH TIME. That way the horse knows I am serious, but I don't offend him. Don't knock it 'till you try it.

"I don't even use seat or leg" that's my favorite part, your horse must be reading your mind because when you know how to use your seat and leg you can ride a horse that has never been rode and he under stands what you are asking. So more power to your energy, I wish I knew how to use my energy to get my horses to move.

LOL again you do not understand what I'm saying. WITH MY HORSE WHO KNOWS ME I don't HAVE to use seat or leg when asking him to go faster. I just add life to my body and he can feel the change. This is how sensitive ANY horse can be. Oh, and you can learn how to use your energy.....I just don't think you would like it.
     

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