My show horse came with a spur stop. I'd never competed at breed shows before so had no experience riding a horse trained that way. I show him in Western Riding and Horsemanship, as well as a little Trail. I don't do Western Pleasure. But I also show in the English flat classes, and he knows the difference between both types of classes. When I'm riding him English he moves forward off my leg, and in the Western events he will slow down when I squeeze. Touching with the spur means Whoa Right Now!
He's also proven to be a great trail horse, out on real trails, in the mountains and quickly figured out that a trail ride means walk out energetically and enjoy the scenery.
I've watched that video of Jason Martin on Harley a hundred times. Western Riding is my favorite class. Those cones come up really fast, and you've got to keep your pace and your bearings throughout.
This has been in interesting discussion.
Thank you to all that have offered what they knew.
Always learning something new.
I know you've already been answered, but I show western pleasure and all-around horses on the Paint, QH and sometimes POA circuits. The spur stop is beyond common in the pleasure and all-around events, as are advanced spur cueing. You're avoiding using voice and rein aids as much as possible, as it can detract from the overall picture. Of course, riders who use their leg and spur aids incorrectly are just as conspicuous, but I digress... It's nearly impossible to find a breed show calibur pleasure or all-arounder that does not have this button.
I train my own horses with the occasional assistance of some trainers. We are their only clients who do NOT use a spur stop. I haven't put one on my horses because I have been sharing them with young children, and that isn't a good combination! However, those kids are older and I will be progressing to more leg cues at this point. It's another tool to have in the box. My horses neck rein, stop at whoa, etc. But in the show pen, a good "leg aid" horse can definitely give a more polished presentation.
Originally Posted by rtph
My experience showing in the western disciplines was over 40 years ago, as well. I knew nothing of the spur stop back then, at least not in California. But I do think it just didn't exist then. Following that, I took years off from showing to finish school, and then got into other disciplines, primarily eventing and dressage. About 10 years ago, I bought a nice QH gelding for a trail riding mount, though I was still dabbling in dressage. So, eventually, I start riding this fellow with spurs--and everything, I mean everything, fell apart. He'd go slower, and slower, and slower ... at some level, he knew I was asking him to move on, but another part of him knew that if he did, he.would.die. I could almost see the smoke coming out of his ears from the cognative dissonance. But I was clueless as to the cause, until I heard about the spur stop nonsense--suddenly it all made sense.
It's since become pretty clear that this horse's earlier training was full of many of the darkest aspects of the WP industry. And it's taken a long time to truly get him past it. I actually celebrated the time he finally let loose, flipped me a bird and bucked me off when I was wearing spurs, lol, because I knew that old stuff was finally dead and gone.
But the spur stop (or, really, spur slow) button is very real, make no mistake.
I've had a couple of horses that came with a spur stop and, first of all, the words themselves are kind of misleading. Plumcreeks description of a "calf stop" is much more accurate. I rarely have to go to the spur-- both horses responded before it got to that point. For me it's really a half-halt that can be intensified when necessary.
I only showed one of the horses, in wp and horsemanship, and he was responsive most of the time. But occasionally, when he was a little on the muscle, I literally had to clamp on like a boa constrictor for the whole class--not fun but he did listen.
The other horse is my current one. I don't show him, just putz around for fun, and he has taught me far more than I've taught him, including the subtleties of a good spur stop ( I really do hate that term). In reality,. I'd say its really only useful on a wp horse.
So with a spur stop trained horse, how do you ask for a lengthened jog/lope as now asked for at shows?
With your seat and a verbal cluck. At least, that's how I ask my horse to extend.
It gets a little tricky because calf pressure also means "keep your head down". So I don't completely release my leg, and add a little cluck and were good to go.
There's nothing refined about a spur stop. It just changes beginner-level riding from "kick to go, pull to stop" to "cluck to go, kick to stop".
Since apparently it's more penalize-able to use your hands than your legs, it gives those sorts of people continue to let the horse blow through their seat aids and gives a physical definition to "slow down".
Note I use "beginner" here in the horsemanship sense of the term. Lots of people earned lots of money sans horsemanship because the events they choose require little horsemanship, or the judges can't recognize it.
Speed control in a refined rider and horse combination is a function of the life in the rider and at worst on seat aids.
Have you ever shown in wp, trained, even ridden a wp well trained horse?
Originally Posted by aktill
Well, it is all seat first, the leg is secondary, unlike what you seem to think, for what you have posted.
Nothing in life is as easy as it seems when someone that is really good at it does it well and makes it looks so easy.;)
The voice of experience here, (but not in wp!).:lol:
Yes!!! and it can be difficult! Even at the lower/open show levels the precision and perfection needed can be mind-boggling.
Originally Posted by Bluey
I'd never been around the stock horse world really before, and so when I first moved here, and I got the chance to ride a well-trained WP horse (well technically an all-arounder) I jumped at it, and you know what? It was HARD! It's all leg, seat, intention, weight, and precision.
After my lesson I was glad to go back to my hunter, because after the WP horse I was TIRED! I mean, WP may not be *my* choice of show career, but I have certainly grown to respect it.
I'm hoping to get to do some QH all around stuff with my filly in the future. I think it'll be a fun new world. (even if we won't have a spur stop. lol!)
If it is done right it appears that you are doing nothing !
I show apps and did 99% of the training on my home-bred hunt seat horse. Before our world show a couple of years ago I sent him to a trainer about 10 days before we left (they were hauling him to the show for me). The trainer rode him for that week and a half, plus a week or so at the show and I was appalled when I got on him for the first time a day or so before my first class. I had NO idea how to ride my own horse because she'd started putting a spur stop on him and he was terrified to go forward. To say I was a little pissed is a bit of an understatement - she knew I was starting to jump him and having a horse that sucks back when you put your leg on in front of a fence just didn't thrill me. He had that super-crawly walk that felt like he was on a death march and if you took your outside spur out of his side at all during the canter he would quit. It was horrible. He usually gets the winters off anyway since I don't have an arena and I think the best thing for him was to sit for a while and start over in the spring enforcing the FORWARD. I understand the concept behind the spur stop but it's just not for me.
[QUOTE=drawstraws;6799928....... I had NO idea how to ride my own horse because she'd started putting a spur stop on him and he was terrified to go forward. To say I was a little pissed is a bit of an understatement - she knew I was starting to jump him and having a horse that sucks back when you put your leg on in front of a fence just didn't thrill me. .[/QUOTE]
I have to say my USEF - R judge H-J trainer was THRILLED with the effect of the "calf-stop-reversed seat button I had on my big, forward Appx QH. Even pressure on his sides with calf and heel (neutral seat) did mean go forward, but wrapping legs around and opening hip angle a bit meant suck back and slow down, and, applied after a jump, would re-balance the horse without pulling on his face.
My current horses (a Skys Blue Boy and a Regal Lark) both will back up from calf pressure and reversed seat alone, no rein at all. Ha! If I tried an actual spur stop, I would be on the ground.
An actual spur stop is Western Pleasure and Western Riding specific where no responsive lengthening is needed. (Why they hit the log).
I have read several posters over the years mention that, when they get too old to ride, they will get a wp horse and crawl along safely in the arena, still enjoying a bit of riding in the very slow lane.:lol:
Like with so much we do with horses, there are many that think what we may do is absurd, just as we may think some others do is.
Wp is no different.
I never showed breed shows, only open local stuff. But years ago I did a little
of everything with my horse, WP included. Never even heard of a spur stop until very
Then a good friend of mine got fed up with her dressage horse, and found a little
WP horse and took some lessons on him with a big local trainer who does AQHA and
APHA shows. She was telling me about the spur stop and all I could think was WTF ?
Anyway, I've ridden this little WP horse a few times and it's kinda neat, but I think it
would likely work better on a horse that naturally *wants* to go very slow. It goes agaist
pretty much everything I've learned about riding so was not easy for me to wrap my
head around it.
It was interesting and weird and not something I'd want on any of my horses, but I also
don't ride WP
I can't even WATCH WP for 2 mins without my fiance needing to drag me away from the rail before I make an unfortunate comment. It's anti-horsemanship - a discipline that not only encourages, but requires movement that is damaging to the long-term health of the horse.
Originally Posted by Bluey
To ride one would be to condone what is done in that ring, so thanks, but pass.
I have had the pleasure of riding (and making) ranch horses that don't need you to spur them to stop (?!?) or clamp your legs around the horse to stop the swing of its barrel.
I didn't say that ALL WP riders ride like that, but I'm directing this at those that feel the need to install a spur stop. Why install a button that ensures the horse will be useless for anything other than WP? So again I say, if you need a spur stop to show effectively, you're not ready to show. A lack of preparation never stopped anyone, but to each their own.
Actually, I would call it over preparation myself.
Originally Posted by aktill
There is plenty I don't like that others do with their horses, but I respect they can do what they want, if I like it or not.
Originally Posted by aktill
I would guess there is something you do with your horses that others may object to also, but are too polite to mention it.:yes:
Around here I have seen it mentioned, good advice I think, when you find yourself in a hole, it is smart to quit digging.;)
My QH is spur broke (showed on the QH and Palomino circuits) and honestly it's confusing to me. I normally wear spurs or a crop because he is so lazy but there are days where I don't wear spurs. I've been working with him since July without spurs and we're getting there.