10-05-2010, 02:35 PM
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I just glanced at this post, vowing not to get into it, as the spur stop is a controversy at the moment in western pl, just like the age of the peanut rollers and four beaters gave a negative image of the pleasure horse industry in the past
No, you do not need a spur stop in order to ride a western pleasure horse off of seat and legs on a loose rein, and some judges will not use a spur stop horse
The spur stop has also been called 'riding the breaks", with a rider constantly holding spurs into a horse to rate speed, that many of these horses start to move in an intimidated manner, sucked back, afraid to move out, and become a one event type of horse
There was an article in Horse and rider awhile back, concerning the spur stop. Some horses had obvious scars from where the spurs were held into them
Spurs should be used as secondary cues only, to back up non complience to legs
Yes, you ride with a lot of leg when you want a horse to round more and drive up more, thus rating speed. I might even apply some spur pressure for afew strides if my horse is not responding enough to leg alone, but I would never hold spurs into ahorse constantly to rate speed-where is the reward for the horse, responding correctly to leg and seat alone?
The spur stop was put on by some trainers as a quick fix-allowing their non pros a tool to ride with aloose rein, when they lacked the proper horsemanship to do so using seat and legs to achieve the same results.
I guess it will take the same type of negative comments from outside of the pleasure horse industry to clean up this poor training technique, same as it took to clean up the four beaters and peanut rollers
Having said that, there is not one discipline that doesn't have some negative training aspects, by thoses trying to achieve a perceived slight edge.
There are games horses wearing bits that I would not dream of putting in the mouth of any of my horses , and that are illegal in judged events
There is the soring of TW, and pressure shoing
Think those built up shoes and pads on saddlebreds are good for the feet?
How about rapping legs of jumpers?
How about the excess weight and confinement of halter horses?
How about Rollkur in dressage?
How about the no drug rule in NRHA, so that many of those three year old futurity horses are kept going with drug coctails when they should be rested?
Western pl gets the most scrutiny because it is for many the entry level class for under saddle showing, thus everyone is an 'expert' at judging western pl, often calling any horse capable of self carriage, slow legged movement, four beaters, even if in fact, they have the level of training and conditioning, plus ability to move slow legged and correct, keeping topline and collection off of seat and leg alone , on aloose rein, not understanding that the ability to do so, ups the degree of difficulty