I think using spurs is fine, as long as the're used correctly. I learned to ride my horse without spurs. After a while, I decided to try a pair, due to my horse will get stubborn once in a while and not respond to my leg cues. My horse generally cues very light, and I never kick him. I do most of my riding and never use my spurs, but when he ignores my cue, I just turn my heel in and give him a roll with my spur. That gets his attention and the problem gets solved. I use a set of spurs with very mild flat tipped rollers.