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So...the "Spur Stop"

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  • So...the "Spur Stop"

    I don't do it and I don't really know what it is. Just warning you.

    Anyways, I hear good and bad things about the spur stop. Some say it's an "emergency break" if your horse bolts, but I'm not really sure how that would work..

    Anyway, I'm wondering what it is, what it's purpose is, and how it works?

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Leg/spur on means slow/stop. Counterintuitive.

    Comment


    • #3
      Spur stop is one more way to use your leg for the more refined aids.
      Pulling on your horse's tail to signal it to stop would be another way to stop your horse and about as effective as an emergency brake.

      Spurs are one more fine way to signal to your horse what you want, in the right situation.
      Spur stops are a very specific signal some western pleasure horses are trained to, while moving along in an arena, to slow down and/or stop forward motion.
      Why do some use that?
      It is a near invisible aid, no one will notice, unlike picking up the reins, saying whoa, moving your seat in the saddle, moving your feet forward and out or any other that demands the rider moves a bit more than the slight ankle movement required for a spur stop.
      A wp horse needs to learn much else before it is taught a spur stop.
      That is taught after the horse has learned to move extremely slowly and listen very, very well to every little signal the rider gives.

      No, it won't work if a horse needs an emergency brake, because at that time, your horse may be too agitate to even notice that very slight signal.

      The trouble, if those kinds of special "buttons" is what your horse works with and no others, they are very much limited to being ridden in the conditions those require to work.
      If you are doing any other with that horse, without retraining it first, it will be confused and not know why now you are more active with other aids, like if you were team penning or jumping.

      Spur stops are a very much useless button for any other than western pleasure or similar western arena events.

      Comment


      • #4
        I HATE that my horse has a spur stop! It was a very huge hurdle we had to fix when transitioning to dressage. My gelding associated it with auto set on his head and dropping the vertical. So it made him very "front endy" and heavy on my hands. It took a great amount of transition work and teaching him how to proper balance his body to start getting that out of his system. It's still there, and still pops up. However, it is now where near as bad.

        Comment


        • #5
          I have been riding and training quarter horses for many years, and have shown in reining, cutting, cow horse, stock horse, roping, and i have NEVER encounterd a horse trained to stop with a spur aid. In fact I've never heard of such a thing from anyone I considered to be a learned horse person. So I was very surprised to see the above post from Bluey.

          I would like to know who the trainers are who are training this.

          Where do these things come from????????

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by rtph View Post
            I have been riding and training quarter horses for many years, and have shown in reining, cutting, cow horse, stock horse, roping, and i have NEVER encounterd a horse trained to stop with a spur aid. In fact I've never heard of such a thing from anyone I considered to be a learned horse person. So I was very surprised to see the above post from Bluey.

            I would like to know who the trainers are who are training this.

            Where do these things come from????????
            Beats me who would have thought that one out.

            There are many in the wp world that train like that, many horses that go like a good wp horse trained to that.
            One more goofy thing we ask our horses to do and they oblige and do it.

            You really can train a horse to do most anything you want, no matter how absurd.
            i won't give examples, what I may think crazy could offend those that like it.

            Comment


            • #7
              Well I think teaching to stop from a spur aid is absurd. So, whoever does it, please come out of the wood work and lets hear about it.

              This sounds like some kind of wild rumor about western pleasure horses and/or trainers that has been cooked up by overly defensive and uninformed english/dressage type COTHers. I just don't think this is something that actually happens with good, or even any substantial number, of reputable western trainers. It's offensive to say it does.

              So anyone who advocates this, please come out and tell us now.

              Comment


              • #8
                Spur stop isn't even a new thing, been around at least 15 years or more.

                I first ran into it at a clinic, where the clinician wanted us all to use CONSTANT, FIRM pressure with legs, spurs, to keep a horse going in the ring. Not how I wanted to ride, too much work on an all-day trail ride! But he was teaching this kind of thinking to everyone else, who all were WP riders at the higher levels of QH showing. The more you used leg, pushed with spurs, the slower horse was to go.

                Since I was really only there to put a better handle on my horse, and I explained this to him, we continued to work well together at the Clinic. I wasn't riding a QH or even Western horse, but this guy taught some EXCELLENT methods of communicating with the bit, lightening up the front end with self-carriage of the horse, exercises for good flexibility, light to the leg on turning, so I LIKED attending his clinics.

                After hearing about how to do the spur stop, I saw the idea jump in popularity for those wanting to go slowwww in the show ring. Never something I would want on a horse, if I push they better GO. Seen folks get in trouble with it, because your AUTOMATIC response to horse refusal, fright, is to tighten the legs, spur touch, to get FORWARD. Didn't work THAT day for them, horse bucked them off. Can't punish horse for stopping dead, when you have trained him to do that!!

                I figure it is just part of all the other artificial things folks do to "shine" in the ring. Totally backwards for any practical use, only NEED to have it work for that few minutes in the ring. Spur stop would fall out of favor fast, if the WP Judges ever started placing horses that actually move again. But that isn't going to happen, so spur stops will continue to be popular as a needed "button" on Western Pleasure type horses that show.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Facts please. Just a couple of names of ANY respectable trainer, western pleasure or otherwise, who trains a spur stop.

                  Who? I challenge every poster on this thread to name one respectable, widely known trainer who does this.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have heard (don't know if it's true) that the modern "spur stop" is a bastardization of Monty Foreman's spur stop. Foreman had a way of teaching his stock horses to stop that resulted in a very loose rein and spur applied just before and through the stop on the theory that it helped drive the hocks up under the horse. So, while the horses were conditioned to stop despite the spur pressure, the original theory was that you were utilizing the forward impulsion the spur provided to get the hocks further under the horse in the stop.

                    The modern "spur stop" is a conditioned response where the horse's reaction to spur pressure is to slow down and start sucking back. It's not a pretty thing to teach, but the result is a horse that starts sucking back when the spurs are applied and the more intense the spur, the more suck-back, until the horse will actually stop and start backing up, all without any hand movement on the rider's part. I believe the majority of western rail horses in the stock horse breeds have this "button" installed now. Some of the ugly results are amateur riders that go around continually "tapping the brakes" with their spurs, kind of like the face-jerking on the pleasure horses that was so prominent a decade or so ago.

                    The "forward" button on these horses is brushing the horse with the legs of the rider, or waving the legs. They are conditioned to start sucking back with any constant pressure.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by rtph View Post
                      Facts please. Just a couple of names of ANY respectable trainer, western pleasure or otherwise, who trains a spur stop.

                      Who? I challenge every poster on this thread to name one respectable, widely known trainer who does this.
                      Well, respectable is up for debate, but famous I can do. Cleve Wells. Shirley Roth (totally not respectable, but famous, successful, and now infamous. How do you think the colt she was riding at the Reichart ended up with dinner plate sized spur hamburger on its sides?), Charlie Cole, Jason Martin, Brett Parrish.... pretty much the entire top end of AQHA and APHA pleasure horse trainers.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        For those unfamiliar with the Shirley Roth debacle, a short article and a link to the arrest warrant and affidavit for alleged animal abuse can be seen here: http://www.gohorseshow.com/article/A..._Warrant/38063

                        Shirley Roth trained and exhibited many, many top end pleasure horses, including possibly the most famous pleasure horse, Vital Signs Are Good. The spur stop is not an ugly rumor, it's an ugly truth in that part of the industry.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Just learned a little about it while I was horseless, coming from riding Saddle seat saddlebreds. My friend recently branched out into WP from the NSH world so has a couple of WP Paints.

                          The more leg/spur you use, the slower the horse gets. It's totally bizarre but it does keep you out of the horse's mouth.

                          The progression of leg aids I was taught on her greenies (started by a local Paint guy of some repute, as far as I know) was this:

                          a fluttery sort of calf still means go forward as it would to a "normally trained horse).

                          rolling the spur (gently) up the horse's side means soften/lower head position.

                          Spurs used inward= slow down, with stronger pressure being a bigger slow down, and prolonged pressure yeilding a halt, and if you keep it on past the stop, a back.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            People don't want to have to touch their horse's mouth to stop. Kind of goes with the excessive drape in the reins that western show horses are ridden with now. I was at the warm up pen at Congress this fall and saw wear marks from spurs on horses.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tekbrzkqn-U

                              It exists. Its been used in the main stage of showing for many years. Heck Alex Ross has written ton of literature on it in mags, and such.

                              Riding a "spur broke" horse is like riding a horse backwards.

                              ETA: More articles

                              http://www.fromthehorsesback.com/tag/spur-stop/

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by BayRoan View Post
                                Well, respectable is up for debate, but famous I can do. Cleve Wells. Shirley Roth (totally not respectable, but famous, successful, and now infamous. How do you think the colt she was riding at the Reichart ended up with dinner plate sized spur hamburger on its sides?), Charlie Cole, Jason Martin, Brett Parrish.... pretty much the entire top end of AQHA and APHA pleasure horse trainers.
                                + all the Arab WP BNTs.

                                Dana Hokana even has a video series on it-
                                http://www.westernhorsetrainingvideo...ult.asp?One=34

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  ---"rtph;6795743]Well I think teaching to stop from a spur aid is absurd. So, whoever does it, please come out of the wood work and lets hear about it.

                                  This sounds like some kind of wild rumor about western pleasure horses and/or trainers that has been cooked up by overly defensive and uninformed english/dressage type COTHers. I just don't think this is something that actually happens with good, or even any substantial number, of reputable western trainers. It's offensive to say it does.

                                  So anyone who advocates this, please come out and tell us now."---


                                  Well, I think you got your answer by now.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    I am not up to date on the different 'kinds' of spur stops and/or controversies. But I stumbled upon this concept myself when I was a teenager. Dead mouth horse that I figured out how to 'stop' by getting him to get his hind legs so far under himself that he HAD to stop. Thought I'd discovered a miracle at the time.

                                    I can easily see how people could go overboard with it. And I don't do it with any kind of horse that other people might ride. It's not a 'button' that is going to make sense to many riders. But I have found it a useful notion on and off over the years. Either with horses that were so stiff or so loose in the bridle that you were looking for a way to get the hind end working without the reins getting involved.

                                    Now if I won the lottery.... and I could have myself a good 12 or so of any kind of horse I wanted, I think I would have a trail horse or two that had this on them really good. Could be useful in all kinds of scenarios. But I wouldn't train my dressage horse or jumper that way. I want those suckers to go forward when I squeeze.
                                    "Friend" me !

                                    http://www.facebook.com/isabeau.solace

                                    Comment

                                    • Original Poster

                                      #19
                                      Hmm, thanks for all the responses. They are quite interesting. If anyone else has a say, please post, I'm really liking the information.

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Equate it to taking a hold of a Thoroughbreds mouth for it to go faster.

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