Spurs? Yeah or Nay? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 32 Old 12-10-2012, 05:06 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys ... hubby appreciates your answers. And me thinks he needs his own username and come to meet ya all!
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post #22 of 32 Old 12-10-2012, 05:30 AM
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Thanks guys ... hubby appreciates your answers. And me thinks he needs his own username and come to meet ya all!
Seconded!

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post #23 of 32 Old 12-10-2012, 05:46 AM
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I use them on my gelding for show jumping at shows, or for practising our dressage, or on his "slow days". It just means that I can touch him with the spur lightly and get the appropriate reaction rather than having to kick the crap out of the poor boy.

He is still learning to do show jumping rounds, to my spurs are there to help encourage him more because he does go very slowly and this does result in me booting him constantly, and I would rather tap him with spurs occasionally than the alternative.

I have been called cruel for using spurs on my horse on a few occasions, and then had to give them the run down of what would you rather, and none of them knew my horse to start with so jog on

No other horses I've ridden *so far* have needed the influence of spurs, they have always been touch and go, but also far more experienced than my guy.

The other reason I use spurs, is because I can't ride him with a jumps whip, if I so much as tap him with it we go absolutely rodeo, it's crazy. It's like he just doesn't expect the tap and goes haywire, so I stopped putting both of us through the stress.

These are the exact spurs I use, except the jewels on mine are baby blue
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post #24 of 32 Old 12-10-2012, 07:23 AM
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I agree with NBEventer my spurs are always on my boots no matter what horse I get on. Whether I use them or not is another story but they are there if I need them.
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post #25 of 32 Old 12-10-2012, 11:18 AM
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Like others have said, I believe it depends on the horse. I ordinarily always used spurs (I always train to a spur before I use them), and it can greatly enhance communication...kind of like being able to add more words to a vocabulary. But I have not yet used them on my current mare, and I can put her anywhere I want her w/o them. But, I had a cutting horse that, if he did not hear the "jing" when you got on, he would dog you, he needed that "clarity". I see no reason for large spikes on rowels, I always wear what I call "clover leaf" rowels, very blunted. I know some english spurs have no rowel, which I am sure is fine for the folks in english's use, but I just think something that can "spin" is less likely to jab. I now have a new filly, I am pretty darn sure I will use them on her when I start her only b/c she is almost too calm and the extreme opposite of "sensitive".

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #26 of 32 Old 12-10-2012, 11:34 AM
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I'm another that always has spurs on my boots, mostly because I'm lazy and it's easier just to leave them on Doesn't mean I always use them but it's nice to have them there. I use spurs for refinement of cues.

Life is like a camera. Focus on what's important, Capture the good times, Develop from the negatives and if things don't work out, Take another shot.
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post #27 of 32 Old 12-10-2012, 11:37 AM
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I'm also going to add that it also depends on the level of the RIDER. In my opinion, a inexperienced rider should NEVER wear spurs. The whole purpose of spurs is to get your horse to be even softer and more responsive to your leg cues. An inexperienced rider often is not going to have the proper leg and body control to effectively use the spurs as they were meant to be used: For refinement.

I also do not think spurs should be used for this: (for sure, nothing more than a flat bumper spur, if anything) Bare heels sure, if the horse happens to run better like that, but not a stick of metal.


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post #28 of 32 Old 12-10-2012, 11:44 AM
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I have a pair of short spurs, but have yet to use them. I purchased them because my percheron is very wide, making it hard for my legs to squeeze around her while she may be arguing with me and is quite strong. I would like to try them since I am not too coordinated with the crop since I direct rein with her. However, I am scared to try even though I am light with my cues because I naturally turn my legs out, especially riding her. I don't want to poke her accidentally and freak her out. Maybe practice slowly in the arena and get the hang of it?
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post #29 of 32 Old 12-10-2012, 12:05 PM
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Originally Posted by Oldhorselady View Post
I have a pair of short spurs, but have yet to use them. I purchased them because my percheron is very wide, making it hard for my legs to squeeze around her while she may be arguing with me and is quite strong. I would like to try them since I am not too coordinated with the crop since I direct rein with her. However, I am scared to try even though I am light with my cues because I naturally turn my legs out, especially riding her. I don't want to poke her accidentally and freak her out. Maybe practice slowly in the arena and get the hang of it?
You'll only need to accidentally poke her once to remember to keep your heels of her
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post #30 of 32 Old 12-10-2012, 12:34 PM
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I just saw this thread. I'm glad it's here. I'm reposting from a post I did on another thread about a horse that wouldn't go forward on cue:

I am a big advocate of the judicious use of spurs. I have found that the use of spurs cuts my training time waaaaaaaaay down and gets the horse to do the right thing willingly a lot quicker than any other means. Squeeze, cluck, touch, jab. It takes about twice before it's down to squeeze. The horse's normal reaction to pain in the sides is to move forward, unless it is blocked by too tight of rein or another obstacle (then sometimes they go straight up!). A good jab with the spurs and a loose rein is nearly always productive in teaching a reluctant or lazy horse to move forward. I am thinking your horse is not ignorant as much as he is being disobedient. It's less likely that he doesn't know to go forward as much as that he just doesn't want to.

Buy a pair of inexpensive spurs that are right for your riding boots. I like those sometimes labeled "rodeo spurs". Learn how to use them gently. If you are used to pounding on the horse's sides with your legs as you try to get them to go, you will have to re-train yourself before using spurs. Also, remember that the smaller the rowel on a spur, the more aggressive the spur is. Get one with a reasonably large rowel without getting one like Clint Eastwood's. The first time you get on with spurs, gently rub them along his sides until he gets used to the idea that they are there. Then it won't be a total surprise the first time they are used.

If you do not believe in using spurs, you'll have to get used to carrying a quirt or whip around with you. In my experience, a horse who knows a spur is attached to a heel will generally respond better to a squeeze than to a whip. By using a whip, you may eventually get a horse who starts off by moving his rear to one side as he sees you raise your arm with the whip.

I have also seen instances in which a person had a horse that had the habit of "balking". It wasn't hard to see why as I watched the rider boot the horse several times, then raise her arm with a whip. The horse saw her raise the whip and lurched forward while her arm was in the air, which threw her off balance. She caught her balance by hauling back on the reins with her other hand, which jerked the horse's mouth. This horse had no idea how to keep from getting punished.

Once you get a horse trained to obey with spurs, you can normally start riding without them for most general uses. I generally use spurs when I'm trail riding, because sometimes it gets dangerous for a horse to balk at an obstacle, and I want a horse to be strictly obedient and trusting when I ask them to move forward on the trail. I recently had a horse on a trail ride in the mountains that balked at a stream crossing. We had to cross the stream several times, and each time it was a fight to get him to cross the stream. A couple times he simply jumped all the way across. After lunch I dug my spurs out of my saddle bags for the return trip. He balked at the first crossing just long enough for me to give him a quick jab with the spurs. After that one touch, it was simply "Yessir! I'll cross right here! What next?" and I had no further trouble the rest of the day.

Read more: He's so lazy
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