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by Downunder Horsemanship

Training Tip: Are You Ready to Use Spurs?

Before making the decision to use spurs when training your horse, you should have a secure, independent seat. That means that you can confidently walk, trot and canter on a loose rein without holding on to the saddle horn or gripping the horse’s sides with your legs.

Spurs on an inexperienced rider can lead to dangerous situations. If you grip the horse’s sides with your legs while you’re wearing spurs, the horse will likely jump out from underneath you and take off or kick out. Even if the horse doesn’t overreact to the spurs, if you’re constantly jabbing the spurs into his sides unintentionally because you have poor control of your legs, you’ll teach the horse to ignore your leg cues. He’ll just get duller and stiffer, which defeats the whole purpose of wearing spurs.

If you don’t have a secure, independent seat, you’re better off working on your balance and learning how to move in rhythm with your horse. The Fundamentals Kit provides great exercises for riders to practice to gain confidence in the saddle and develop a good seat.