Are spurs necessary?!
Hi everyone! The horse search is over! After a year of searching, I have found my dream horse! His name is Boy Blue (Boy). Boy is the most gorgeous light chestnut paint horse with a bald face, blue eyes, and two small white marks on his sides :D. He is very sweet, loves attention, and loves trails!
Here's the problem though. He is VERY VERY slow and lazy in the ring (much better on the trails). I use a crop on him, but it doesn't make much of a difference. If you do use the crop hard enough to make it effective, you really have to smack it HARD! I don't really like hitting the horse this hard. However, this is what his owner told me to do. I was wondering if spurs could help. Just gentle knob spurs, I don't think Boy needs sharp ones. Can someone please tell me if they think spurs are necessary in the case of Boy? And if not, do you have any other suggestions of how to speed him up? Thanks!
A crop backs up your leg so maybe you're not using it right?
How would he react on the ground to a broken-bag tied on to a dressage whip?
I am not a big fan of spurs at all! Although they might be a handy tool if you know how to use them right. I just see so many people wearing them and spuring the horses ALL THE TIME and the horse just gets numb to it. How is he doing on the ground? In the round pen, I have one horse that is more on the slow side but with some ground work he improved a lot under the saddle. I started on the ground, asking for trott, faster trott, canter, faster canter and just get the horse in good shape. It helped me in the saddle because honestly it is no fun to be exhausted from kicking and putting leg pressure on after the ride. It might help, it did for me anyways. So good luck.
Sometimes a horse is just lazy. One of the horses I ride was like that. It took a while to get him out of it but what ended up working was asking for speed twice. The first time I would ask nicely, the second time I would ask with a SMACK on the butt. Over time he started being more forward In general and started respondin to aids faster. It gets really annoying to constantly have to drive a horse forward and have him stop if you stop nagging him every second.
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I love spurs BUT you have to know how to use them. You need a quiet leg and you never kick with spurs. My mare will be an absolute butt without them. With them she responds much better especially for turning. I rarely use them for speed unless she is being a pain about crossing a road and she's taking to long and cars start coming.
Spurs are for more advanced and subtle communication, So I would stick to just a crop for now, but thats just me.
I used to ride a horse that would not even walk without getting a hard whack with a dressage whip. I started doing strict, constant transitions and he improved a lot. Try to go from a trot to a halt, back up a few steps and then INSIST that he pick up the trot again...no time in between your instruction and his action should be allowed. If you need a crop to do this, thats fine.
The horse I described above actually needed to be slowed down after a few months...he realized using himself correctly was much easier than dragging on the forehand, trying to tune out the riders whip and leg.
My horse is very lazy in the school. Spurs are a big help because thanks to some idiot giving him a beating before we got him I can't carry a stick on him without him having a panic.
Schooling's the only time I use them, though. Like others have said, your legs need to be perfectly controlled and I don't trust mine jumping :)
I've used spurs on a horse before and they worked pretty well so if you want to try spurs go ahead and if he speeds up after a while you could try with no spurs again.
spurs should be used for refinement, not to get them to go. your horse does not respect your leg, that is why he is lazy and wont go forward. what i do is give them a progression of pressure. so first i use a soft leg aid [softer aid then then you think they will respond to. if they dont listen use a medium leg aid [the leg aid you expect them to respond to] if they still dont go a hard leg aid [harder than you think you need to use] if they still dont go, cluck ONE TIME and only one time. if they arent cantering by now, you need to spank them behind their leg until they do canter. if you are very consistent with this, your horse will start responding to that very light aid that you dont expect them to.
let me know if i need to clarify =]
Thanks everyone for the suggestions! I think I'll just stick with it for now and try to be more consistent in my leg aids before I use spurs.
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