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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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        03-04-2013, 12:05 PM
      #41
    Started
    I don't wear spurs. I have never had a pair on. That is probably a hole in MY training but it is most likely a piece of equipment I will go without.
         
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        03-04-2013, 02:49 PM
      #42
    Weanling
    I never saw a need for them. If an owner wants to ride their horse with spurs they can do it on their own time, I don't train with them. Growing up I was told if I couldn't get the horse to do what I wanted with my heel, voice, and seat then I wasn't doing it right. I've had lessons and been taught how to use them I just don't. I'm also too lazy to switch them onto whatever pair of boots I'm wearing. I have taught lessons with kids using them. As long as they're not abusing the horse with them it's fine, but you shouldn't need them to get your horse listening or under control.
         
        03-04-2013, 07:32 PM
      #43
    Showing
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bbsmfg3    
    Let me remind you, there are horses out there that will unload you, in a heart beat, if you do wear them(whether you use them or not). Much better to evaluate the horse's need for them before hand. Much better to be safe than sorry. Better to have a plug for a day, than a trip to the grave yard...

    Sure, there are some horses that will buck if you bump them with spurs, but those are generally horses who are 1) untrained for spurs and never had them used before, 2) mean spirited critters who just want to hurt people...but if that's the case, then spurs are the least of that horse/rider's problem, 3) extremely sensitive horses being ridden by too-aggressive riders, or 4) horses who have been mistreated by someone in spurs at some point in their history.

    Those that will unload you, do not do it gently. They mean to hurt you, and will often times come after you, after they dump you.


    While I do agree that a person should evaluate the need before just slapping them on there, I also believe that every horse should be properly introduced to spurs so that they are familiar with them and used to having them used. Generally speaking, horses that buck (for whatever reason), aren't doing it out of mean-spiritedness. They are either in pain, ill trained, or green. Also, horses don't make a habit of attacking the person they just bucked off unless there are some very serious underlying training/handling and aggression issues there.

    Two of the best trained horses I know of, are that way. They dumped their riders then pawed the living day lights out of them. It's a wonder they survived. From the time they were dumped until they sold them, the horses never responded well. The new owners had no problem at all with the horses, without spurs.
    Wow, if those were two of the best trained horses, then I shudder to think what you might call a poorly trained horse . The instant one of my "well trained" horses bucked me off and then proceeded to paw me while I was on the ground, then that horse would be meeting a bullet.

    But, maybe I just expect more of a "well trained" horse than other folks .
         
        03-04-2013, 09:10 PM
      #44
    Foal
    Smrobs we only have 1 like button and I wanted to like your comment 2 times.
         
        03-06-2013, 10:46 AM
      #45
    Foal
    I feel that correct usage of spurs by a knowledgable rider who is trained in their usage is perfectly acceptable. For instance, I NEVER used to ride with spurs until I bought my first horse. He was a Western Pleasure show horse and relied completely on spur cues and neck reining. He is able to be ridden with no bridle and just guided by leg and spur. Because of his extensive training with spurs and their cues, I have to ride him using spurs. Of course, I could probably go through through time and training to make him responsive to certain cues without spurs, but frankly, he is quite unresponsive to cues to lope or canter if I decide to push him out if I do not use spurs. It makes riding for me much easier and efficient and it is easier for him as well since he clearly understands exactly what I am asking. I just have to use a small, dull spur on him. My cues are extremely light and with the slightest touch of my spur(s) he knows exactly what I want. Sure, I CAN ride him without spurs, it's not like he'll just stand there, but they make it much easier to get the message across. It's like anything. Spurs can be abused, crops can be abused, bits and reins can be abused, lunge whips can be abused, and the use of our hands can be abused. All of the above are aids to send cues and all of them can be used both correctly and incorrectly.
    thenrie likes this.
         
        03-06-2013, 05:40 PM
      #46
    Weanling
    You should absolutely learn how to ride without spurs first. You should be able to control your horse without the use of them. I like to look at spurs as "power steering" for your horse. They are an extension of your leg that should be used only to get more precise movements out of your horse. I grew up trail riding, and never ever even considered using spurs (nor did I need them), but now that I am showing in cutting, I have realized how valuable they can be to maximize your performance, in instances where you need to make a quick turn, take off very quickly, etc...So, if used properly, I believe they can be a valuable asset.
    jimj911, Muppetgirl and mollymay like this.
         
        03-06-2013, 06:14 PM
      #47
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by cowgirlnay    
    You should absolutely learn how to ride without spurs first. You should be able to control your horse without the use of them. I like to look at spurs as "power steering" for your horse. They are an extension of your leg that should be used only to get more precise movements out of your horse. I grew up trail riding, and never ever even considered using spurs (nor did I need them), but now that I am showing in cutting, I have realized how valuable they can be to maximize your performance, in instances where you need to make a quick turn, take off very quickly, etc...So, if used properly, I believe they can be a valuable asset.
    Absolutely......try getting a snappy rollback without spurs....pffft!

    When I 'graduated' to my first pair of rowled spurs.....wow! It turned a heavy sided oaf into a snappy easy to ride horse......I'm not really into banging on a horses side and nagging him all day because I think spurs are cruel and wont wear em. If a horse is properly introduced to spurs and they are used appropriately, eventually you don't need to use em, they just hang of the heel of your boot.....I probably touch my horse once with the spurs during a half an hour ride.....maybe twice
         
        03-09-2013, 10:41 PM
      #48
    Weanling
    MY concern with spurs is that they often get used when the rider does not intend to use to them especially in trail situations. I'll give some examples. You are riding through some brush and a limb catches your leg and causes the spur to dig into your horses side. You are mounting and your mount is startled and it causes you to catch him in the side or rump with your spur. Some one pushes past you on the trail and brushes your leg shoving it into your horse. In each of these cases you are not planning to spur your horse but I'm not sure he will understand it was just an accident.
    I can see them used as training tools in certain circumstances but I think that habitual use of them is like habitual use of a tiedown , just a crutch to cover up a poor training job or rider.
         
        03-09-2013, 11:44 PM
      #49
    Weanling
    If I had a horse that reacted to every little nudge and twitch, I wouldn't be wearing spurs, most likely at all. Having gone 25+ years without wearing them, it's only my latest horse that had me learn how to use them.

    Some of you may have met one of his kind before... Walking through the bush, he'll spy a gap between two trees and figure he can fit through it simply because his head can. He'll make it through that gap and you can almost hear the "POP" as the last of his large arse comes through. Handy for loading him into sardine cans for trailers, but not so great if you're yacking away with your riding buddies and let him pick his own route through the brush, lol!
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    HorseCrazyTeen likes this.
         
        03-12-2013, 05:16 PM
      #50
    Yearling
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by G8tdh0rse    
    MY concern with spurs is that they often get used when the rider does not intend to use to them especially in trail situations.
    My horses know when I'm asking for movement and bump them with a spur and when they just poked because of a branch or a rock face pushes my leg into them. There is a definite difference and the horses quickly learn what that difference is.

    Heck I'm sure that as I ride down the trail, just working my ankles, pointing my toes, the kind of stuff I do to keep my legs from stiffening up, the horses get bumped occasionally with the spur and they ignore that. But when they feel me lay a leg against their side, and gradually roll a spur against them, There is no misunderstanding.

    Of course the old axiom still exist. You ask the horse lightly, if no response, you ask a little stronger, if no response then you bump hard. Most of the time, my horses have responded with just the light pressure of my lower leg being pressed against their side. If the spurs come into play, they have been ignoring me.
    Jim Andy likes this.
         

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