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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've recently started riding a horse who requires spurs. I haven't ridden him since last August, so I'm having a lot of trouble getting used to the spurs and riding properly with them. I was hoping several months of building up my leg on other horses would help but now that I'm back on him, all my old problems are resurfacing.

It seems like every time I turn my toe out to use my spur, my foot slips out of the stirrup or too far into it. Maybe it's just that I can't keep weight in my heel when I'm trying to get the spur against him, or maybe I'm pinching with my knee... I don't know. Any ideas? Suggestions?

Thanks!
 

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Sphi,

If you're going to wear a spur, I prefer a longer one, for exactly the reasons you're encountering. You should not have to distort your leg position to engage the spur. You are wearing the correct length spur when a extra hard squeeze or a *slight* toe out movement engages the spur. Doesn't sound like that's happening in your case.

This is, of course, assuming that your leg is stable and controlled enough to only engage the spur when you want to.

It might be helpful if your posted a photo of you and the horse. The horse's conformation, and where your leg falls on the horse's side, influences your choice of spur as well. So a spur length or shape that works for one rider might not work for another rider on the same horse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
This is a picture from last summer. I ride 1 or 2 holes longer now I think, as I've grown a bit.. :p



And another angle:



(blurred face is a parental rule, lol..)
 

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I agree with Maura - I ride in swan neck rowelled spurs and I only have to lift my heel a small amount to engage the spur. If I wear dummy spurs I have to turn my whole foot as my horse isn't very big.
 

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Thanks for the photos. You look like a solid rider with a good foundation and a good working position. I think you may have a little learning curve with a longer spurs but that ultimately they will help your horse's responsiveness and allow you to maintain position.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the advice everyone! I'm going to see how it goes at my lesson tomorrow and if I'm still having trouble I'm going to talk to my instructor about getting longer spurs. :)
 

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Just be aware that longer spurs will be more harsh in an unsteady leg than nubs.

I have little nubs, and I have to move my toe out maybe an inch to engage the spur. I have never found it to be a problem as long as I keep my heel down down down.

Honestly, I think the root of this problem is your heels, not the type of spur. If you work on keeping your heels down always, the problem will be fixed. =]
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Okay, so on Wednesday I worked on keeping my heels down more and I had a lot more success! I've decided to stick with the nubs and just work really hard on keeping my heels down. I point my toes out a bit when I jump so I think anything longer might hurt him.
 

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I ride with spurs every week and I have the nubs to, if you have to turn your toes out then your probably doing something wrong I never have to. Yes with spurs your heels always have to be down so thats probably what was the matter.
 

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They're really small nubs, like 1/4 inch I think. I'm using them because he doesn't listen to just leg very much.
That, my friend, is probably your problem. Short spurs are not kind spurs, at all. If anything, they make your leg/position much harder. Why? because you have to move your leg too far out of position to use them. You lose your "feel" and softness when your leg is so far away from where it should be.

I use 1 1/2 to 2" dressage spurs (depending on whether I am doing flatwork or jumping). All I have to do is slightly turn my toes out to press them (never jab) into the horse's sides. Much softer and kinder when you maintain such good feel, IMHO.

I also only use rounded spurs, nothing with a squared edge.

Ilovejr, if you don't have to turn your toe out to engage your spur, I fear you are riding with your toe out all the time. You may be engaging your spur constantly that way. Toes should be forward when wearing spurs correctly.

Sadly, I see many people with heels digging into their horse's sides. That is why nubbies became so popular. Learn to use your leg correctly instead of relying on spurs that require moving your leg too much.
 

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I hate dummy spurs of any kind, mostly because my horse does, and I believe them to be harsher than a rowel, but the short ones really get my goat.

There is simply no way for me to engage the spur on my horses side without compromising my leg position - Especially because I prefer to ride smaller horses.

My spurs are swan necked with a blunt rowel and I hardly have to move my leg at all to engage them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I mean ideally I'd like to have a longer spur where I barely had to move my leg to engage it. But the fact of the matter is that my leg moves already—I'd be engaging the spur every second. Maybe I'll graduate to longer spurs when my leg is more still, but until then I don't think I should risk it.
 
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