using spurs - Page 3

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using spurs

This is a discussion on using spurs within the Trail Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    02-28-2013, 04:18 PM
Refinement or extension of leg for subtle cues - not for discipline or aids to get the horse to move - horse should be doing all movements prior to introduction to spurs. But then there's this situation...

I bought a big horse from a smaller woman who used them because she simply didn't have enough leg/strength/patience to get him to listen...she sold him to me - not because anything was wrong with him, he was just too much horse under her size-wise. He was a box truck and just wanted to eat grass all day.

Now it took me almost three years to teach him to go in a plain snaffle (was on a long shanked curb) and to listen to my leg without spurs. Not a mean bone in his body and a super attitude for anything. He was just like a freight train with no go. If a turn was coming up, you had to start turning a mile before hand just to get him around. He was what I would call a horse that was dulled out from his bit AND his spurs.

The first year I squeezed and squeezed on him with my leg and had more charlie horses than I've had regular horses in my lifetime (and that is a lot) - teaching and rewarding even the smallest amount of yield. Want to have calves, thighs and buns of steel? Forget Suzanne Somers thigh burner. Get a horse with dulled sides and mouth and work with that!
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    02-28-2013, 09:42 PM
Originally Posted by Darrin    
I've ridden a few that don't listen until you show them your spurs are on. After that they are angels for the rest of the ride.
I have ridden horses like that.

I have some spurs somewhere. I would hate to have to find where I put them.
    02-28-2013, 09:47 PM
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I wear spurs... they jingle when I walk.....It's a really cool sound...

Really though... I don't gouge or jab with them, I barely roll them to get a response... a simple flap of the fender will get him moving, a cluck of the tongue will get more out of him and just a roll of the spur will either slow him down, stop him, speed him up, or push his rear end underneath himself...

When used properly they are a terrific aid...
    02-28-2013, 09:58 PM
I always ride in spurs, they are an extension of my leg, you don't kick, it is a press of the heel when the horse is dull or ignoring your leg. Works great when you can feel the horse's back muscle hollowing out underneath you, a press with a spur will encourage him to lift it. As for getting them to move faster, sorry, don't know about that, I use more calf, a crop or a cluck.
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    02-28-2013, 10:16 PM
Originally Posted by mollymay    
Ok first my horse is very hot headed. I don't abuse my horse with spurs. The crop doesn't work on him, instead he rears up or crow kicks every time you use a crop on him. The spurs are much more effective and I ONLY use them if I need to! I use leg pressure the rest of the time. And like someone said above about their horse, once trigger knows I have them on he generally minds like a perfect angel the rest of the time. I'd much rather wear the spurs and not need them, then need them and not have them- in example when he freaked with a crop and ended up me on the ground and him stepping on my leg. I'm sorry if I sound harsh, but in my opinion to each there own and I was just voicing my opinion on whether I agree with spurs or not. I didn't mean to cause an argument.
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Not going to get into it on here, but you should definitely try to desensitize him to the crop. Even if you don't need to use it regularly, he's either had bad experiences with the crop and needs to re-learn that it's not a monster, or he's just being a cow and needs to learn to deal with it.
    03-01-2013, 01:16 AM
I only use when necessary and it's to help the horse, gouging them is not cool nor is whipping.
    03-01-2013, 01:29 AM
Refinement of a cue. That is all. Subtle cue. Pressing with less pressure to get the desired result. I can move my leg half an inch back to push the hip more with a spur rather than move them two inches back to differentiate like I would in a dull boot heel. Things like that.
    03-01-2013, 01:41 AM
Just another tool... And only as ignorant/cruel as the tool wearing them.
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    03-01-2013, 02:11 AM
I don't wear them because, well, currently I don't need them on either horse I ride. I can breathe them up a gait. But, I don't trust my leg to be 100% reliable, so best for me not to use them.

I carry a whip, or use the mecate if the hrose baulks and I need to up the pressure fast. Sometimes, with regulary english reins, whipping the looped extra rein back and forth ont eh wither or neck area will be a good motivator to a hrose that is dulled out to the leg/spur.
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    03-01-2013, 04:11 AM
Originally Posted by Speed Racer    
If you're trail riding, you don't need them. What you need is a properly trained horse and rider team.
Not sure I agree with the first part (although I do agree with the second).

Of course, you don't "need" spurs on trail, but you could as easily argue you don't "need" spurs at all.

I used to ride in spurs all the time. Ring, trail, competition, whatever. I have very long legs. They hang well below the horse. Call me lazy, but I didn't like that I have to move my leg so much when I needed heel contact. A long shank spur allowed me to minimize the movement of my leg to cue the horse. Using a spur instead of my heel also meant that significantly less pressure was needed to give the same cue. I barely moved my foot/leg to cause a light brush on the horse. This approach was just as valid on trail as it was anywhere else we rode.

Interestingly, I believe that my use of spurs is a big reason I no longer "need" them. They trained me to use minimal cues and also trained my horse that a slight movement is all that's needed. So I guess you could say that disagreeing with the first quoted sentence led to the fulfillment of the second quoted sentence.
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