Spurs. I need them.

I had a fairly frustrating ride on Duke last night. We’ve been working on lateral movement as straightening aids – things like working turns on the forehand and leg yielding.

Since he is a furry yak right now, I opted to do most of our work at the walk and some trot. Seriously, if I work him too hard, he gets so sweaty that I have to cool him out for, like, an hour and a half, and I don’t have time for that every night. Plus you can get a lot done at the walk.

He is way hairier right now than this photo from last spring shows.

Holy smokes, he was not forward, and not responsive to my leg aids. Literally, my glutes and thighs were like jelly when I got off, just from pushing him forward. Every movement felt like I had to use all my strength.

This is not typical. Duke has been super lately, and these lateral movements are not new exercises. He should know them well. 

It wasn’t until he was untacked and brushed that I realized…I didn’t put on my spurs. The entire ride, I rode as if I had spurs on. No wonder he didn’t respect my leg. 

You could argue that he shouldn’t need spurs, he should go off of my leg, blah blah blah, but it’s just not Duke. In the other half of his life when I’m not riding him, he’s a lesson horse. He is fantastic at toting children around and teaching them the ropes. But that means he has to be a bit dull to aids sometimes. 

He is a unicorn who puts up with a lot of shenanigans

Wearing spurs allows me to be softer and more direct in my aids. I’m the only one who rides him in them, and it’s because I’m the only one who asks him to do the hard work of collection, throughness, pushing from behind, lifting his back, bending, straightness, and so on. Duke doesn’t love hard work, and he’ll work exactly as hard as you make him. Also, for the record, my spurs are the tiniest little nubs I could find. 

So no wonder he was so dull and slow and lazy last night. It’s my own fault for not putting on my spurs!

Do you have a piece of equipment that’s an absolute must for you and your horse?


11 thoughts on “Spurs. I need them.

  1. spurs yep been there . not fun. If i forget my spurs can totally tell and I just have nubs not even big ones but whoohee REMUS knows when they are not on. A dressage whip or crop helps but spurs are the best. I have had to get off and go get them it is that bad in the ring…That is not to say i need them on the trail or cross country etc but in a ring and having to work! YEP.

    Speaking of I wonder where my ten pairs are. LOL I packed them somewhere and havent seen them since(i dont have 10 but i have like three or four at least along with purple spur straps!!) HA

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    1. Ooooh I really want some fun spur straps. I just have crappy nylon ones. I should’ve known I didn’t have them on…but I literally rode as if I did. Face, meet palm! I did have my dressage whip but I prefer to use that as a way to bring his attention to a certain place, like if his hip is trailing in a leg yield I’ll tap him. Or his favorite, his shoulders thrown to the inside – that gets a smart tap, too.

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      1. yes been there too (smart tap on shoulder when the shoulder bulge happens)…get some fun bright spur straps and put them right where your brushes are then you won’t miss them!! HA (PS great stocking stuff idea for people who ask what you want!)

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  2. lol charlie knows for damn well sure when i *am* wearing spurs, and when i *am not.* it’s a fact of life lol…. for the most part tho my spurs actually live on my boots full time – they zipper is placed such that they can stay on even when i take the boot on and off. it’s convenient lol

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  3. My spurs live on my boots too hahaha. I had them off for a while to try and build some leg strength but honestly it was mostly just frustrating for both of us. Strength isn’t really the issue, it’s having something a little clearer to say “hey move off now.” I consider it part of Frankie’s Work Uniform when we want to get some good stuff done.

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