I think my horse has had some spur training. I've never ridden with spurs before, but I would like to try them on him. What are some cues that horses are normally taught with spurs? (just so I can have an idea) (I'm using English spurs by the way)
I'm not sure what spur training is exactly, but for me, I use spurs as an extension of my leg. For example, if a horse isn't listening to prior cues, kissing, seat, or leg bumping, I nudge with a spur with a bit of pressure until I get the desired gait-- this being a canter.
I game in a horse for renaissance festival who ignores my leg. So I need to use a combination of spur and leg to keep him from cheating.
I don't know of any specific cues given with spurs. I wear them all the time and only use them very lightly to cue (as they are often more precise than a blunt heel) or if I feel the horse needs a bit of extra "encouragement" to back off my leg, but I don't train my horse to do anything with spurs that I wouldn't expect him to at least eventually be able to do without.
Why are you thinking of using spurs? Are you going to a higher level of training with your horse? Do you feel you need some reinforcement? How responsive if your horse to leg cues without spurs? Answering these questions might help us help you better! :-)
Are you talking about spur stop training? That you think he might be spur stop trained?
In my experience, not many HUS horses are spur-trained, in the sense that I think you mean - which would be using a spur-stop like a western horse. They position bodies the same with your legs and such, but not quite so much is done off the feet quite like a western horse.
For the western horses, it is a lot more common because we don't have the luxury of having the horse in our hand like a hunt seat rider does. The spurs are used in a combination of other cues - shifts of weight, leg pressure, etc. It's not JUST the spur. Nailing one with spurs only is a good way to screw up a ride on an unforgiving horse.
Spurs are used to tell the horse where to put his body, to move his shoulders or hips while going down the rail, for example. Some horses are also taught to stop off the spur, and back as well. In the trail, your spurs are there to help position your horse through the course, to ask him to shorten his stride to make a distance, to sidepass, to move his hip around a back through, etc. But, always with some leg, the weight of the rider, some hand, etc.
Just sticking a horse is a good way to get him pissed off, burnt out, and sour.
^ ditto everything she said. HUS spur use is just a tad different from WP spur use. In WP the spur is used to round and rate, because as Spurstop said, we are riding on a draped rein with essentially no contact.
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