I use spurs and a dressage whip on my horse at home. For both flatting and jumping. He likes to be behind my leg a lot, which isn't fun. So we carry the extra incentive to go. When showing, I have the spurs and a whip. I just started using spurs with my horse because he used to kick at them, but now that I've gotten better about only using them when I need to, and not all the time, he's better. It helps when jumping so he knows when I say "go forward" I mean NOW.
I always carry a crop - a show bat in the ring, otherwise a standard length crop. I only wear spurs with one horse I sometimes ride, because he was trained western and can't seem to "hear" your leg unless you have spurs. I use longer rounded ones with him.
Trainer periodically suggests I try at least the tiny nub-type spurs on My Little Pony but I have refused so far. He is far more responsive than western-boy, and I am concerned that my own leg is not good enough to make sure I use them only precisely when needed and no other time. And, of course, there's no point in using spurs to "shout" GO if my hands/upper body are still suggesting WHOA is an option. So no spurs.
The crop I know I can apply correctly - and as several other posters have said, horses always know when you're carrying one and when you're not. And it can be handed off between rounds, or even dropped in an emergency, when you discover that the GO button is stuck in the ON position and further encouragement is now counterproductive.
I ride with both at home. My spurs are pretty average. Not those little baby spurs that are barely a nub, but the ones that are just long enough to make a difference. And I too use a schooling whip on the flat (except in the show ring) to have as my back up plan or correction. My gelding never grew too fond of spurs, but he can get a little dead to leg aids so I like to use them as a "hey .. this is my leg telling you to MOVE OVER!" if all else fails. HE often lets me know when I am using too much spur so I have gotten very good at just using then when needed and keeping my heal way down.
showing I always have my spurs on but I drop the whip. A bat will do my no good as a shoulder tap would mean nothing to him, and to smack him behind with that would not be a pretty sight in the hunters
oh yeah .. and editing to add ... i rode my pony in spurs once. haha i forgot I had them on ... well he soon reminded me and planted me promptly on the ground. lol. he did not appreciate them very much .. and only being 11hh or so, he disappears when he bucks. so needless to say, I dont think he will be a spur requiring pony! just a small bat works great for him.
I will sometimes wear spurs, depending on the horse and my trainers advice, but rarely. I usually carry a crop, I can probably count the amount of times I've had to use it in the last few years on one hand though! But I like to have it just in case. IMO it's better to have it should you need it, than have problems and not have one on you.
CRAYOLA POSSE - Olive Green
Champions aren't born. They are built little by little, day by day, with patience and love for the art. -Nick Skelton
I wear spurs and carry a stick pretty much everytime I ride. I have an educated enough leg that the spurs only get used if they are needed, and I believe that every horse needs to learn to tolerate the rider carrying a stick. Better to have one and not need it than the other way around!
********** We move pretty fast for some rabid garden snails.
Crop - standard hunter length - always. Even in the show ring.
Spurs rarely. IF I need them, they're usually the smallest of the small -- those barely there bumps, what a quarter inch, maybe? Usually only on very hot days, or after my OTTB has spent a night carousing in the field with his buddies ;-). SOMETIMES at shows, if we have a long break between divisions.
Now, if I'm just doing intense flatwork or a dressage lesson, I might use POW spurs, but the rounded end ones. Those are waaaayyy too large for regular hunter stuff, but for lateral movements or more "dressagey" work, sometimes they do help.
So, stick always (although I almost never actually USE it); spurs as needed.
I pretty much always ride with spurs. I give spur rubs pretty easily, and I have found that the bigger and pointier the spur, I don't give rubs. Because if I have a little nub, I just keep spurring and spurring with no reaction. With the big ones, I give give a little squeeze and they snap-to right away. So my spurs are the long ones with the black rollers, except I took the rollers off. It was not my idea, but every since I've done this, there have been no more rubs.
I hate carrying a crop, but one mare I ride gets very pissy with spurs... so I just carry a crop with her just in case..
On my TB I only use a crop for lessons, and shows. Occasionally I'll throw spurs on at a show if he's being sticky with his lead changes, because they aren't great in the first place.
My pony gets nothing, as she's just hacking around to get back in shape right now. When I did her in the jumpers I used a crop because she wasn't fond of some jumps.
I use both spurs and a bat at home on my warmblood. The spurs are small tom thumb ones or the roller ones. He's only been to two shows to school, but for at least the first few we aren't going to use spurs because he seems to wake up at the shows.
So for me it really depends on the horse and how they go best.
Last edited by BelleOfTheBall; Aug. 4, 2008 at 10:36 PM.
I have an 17yo OTTB mare and I only use spurs on her when she's in heat. Otherwise she won't let me use them. On those special occasions we work a lot on leg yielding and other such things that she doesn't like to do. It's easier to make her do them with spurs.
I pretty much only use a crop on her when we're jumping over 2ft because she is forward enough and she listens to my leg. I don't want to prod the beast
Always to both. I do school with a dressage whip, and fairly big prince of wales spurs. My logic is if I have them I rarely have to actually use them-it's the days I don't have them I need them the most!
I usually just ride with a short bat. I try not to use spurs too much because my thoroughbred has thin skin and gets rubs really easily that just refuse to go away. I do have tiny (quarter inch I think) spurs that I use on occasion, and slightly larger (maybe half-3/4 inch) spurs with the plastic balls on the end that I use in dire emergencies.
Overall, I try to keep my horse ahead of my leg because I don't like the "push push push" type of ride- I've always been more of a steady/maintain type of rider.
I think it really depends on the horse and the rider. I have no problem with people who use bigger spurs or a longer crop, if that's what works for them and they're responsible about it. To each is own.
Large Green Pony: Nothing. Large Pony Hunter: Small spurs (Tom Thumb) and a small hunter bat. Equitation Horse: 1/2" rounded spurs at the shows and at home I use the spurs and occasionally a dressage whip if I am working on some flat stuff. Junior Hunter: 1" Price of Whales spurs--I'm 5ft 100 pounds and he is a 17.1 hand Dutch Warmblood who is a very typical warmblood--plus my legs don't get anywhere close to his belly Junior Jumper: 1/2" rounded spurs for help steering--we don't need any extra speed Baby Green Hunter: NOTHING--she is a chestnut mare if you catch my drift VERY sensitive to spurs--found that out the hard way.
When I am getting on a younger horse I try to teach them to use nothing because I think they should respect your hand and leg without having to have any "tools".
If I am just getting on a random horse or pony I will start with nothing and make sure I have all of my "tools" nearby if I need them.
i do! always on my pony though. i almost always carry a crop otherwise, but it can depend on the pony of course weather or not i wear spurs. but on my own, yes.
my spurs are fairly short, only 1/2 inch i think. maybe even 1/4 inch. they are prince of wales.
my stick, i'm not quite sure how long it is. it's definately not a short bat. it's fairly long, actually (not a dressage whip, of course haha) but its long. it's a very nice crop though! i didnt really buy it for the length, i bought it more because its a sturdy crop that i can use for home and show.
i ride with a pretty decent length but legal stick most of the time but with my huge WB i use a dressage whip becuase it keeps in front of my leg. i just cant use it in the show ring since it isnt legal length i use like 1 inch spurs with my other horse but they have the rubber balls at the end. i use them and the stick because my horse is very quiet and he needs wake up call sometimes
In riding a horse we borrow freedom.