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Spurs are for lateral movements; not for getting a horse to go faster.

With my horses, I find it much more efficient to simply squeeze with my calves and kiss/cluck verbally, rather than to KICK them in the belly. They seem to respond better to squeezing.

I just feel like doing this doesn't get you very far. You lose all contact with your horse. And he's gonna get whaled on when those legs come down. JMO


Always make sure you don't lean too far forward with your body. You don't want to get ahead of your horse. You don't want your body weight on their shoulders. You want to keep the shoulders free by keeping your legs and seat "in the saddle" while leaning ahead with your upper body, if that makes sense.

I tried to find a picture of a riding leaning too far forward and this one on the left is the best I could find.


Whereas in this picture, even though she is leaning way forward with her upper body, her seat and legs are still "with" her horse.




Whips will vary for each horse. Some it will slow them down; others it will work well. Just kind of have to know your horse, and know your timing.

But yes, as barrelracinglvr said: PUSH!!

I find that breezing a push-style horse frequently during the week (maybe once or twice a week) helps them "remember" how to run. But of course, each horse will be a little different on that and you know your horse best.
 
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