If you need spurs to "save you from something awful" you shouldn't be wearing spurs. Spurs are NOT for disciplinary. They are used as an extension of the leg and for refining cues. I used spurs on my old horse. Why? Because I was working on pivoting and lateral stuff and my trainer at the time suggested I use spurs so I get a precise and specific cue. I ONLY use small llittle prince of wales spurs..
I HUGELY HUGELY disagree with using spurs on a greenie. I would never use them on a greenie. I dislike spurs as a whole for the most part. Even with my old horse i'd wear them for only part of the ride and maybe a couple times a year. They make to many horses dead sided, and to many people use them who shouldn't who constantly bang away at the horse's sides..
You've never ridden without spurs? I have to wonder if you even know HOW to use them properly and if you are constantly putting them in use..
I would much rather see someone with a crop or dressage whip and use it ONLY when needed then use spurs constantly..