I was taken aback by my readers' comments regarding using spurs and feel compelled to write something about spur use. I'm not saying spurs are a cure for rider/horse issues, and should certainly not ever be misused. But to keep aids clear, they can be gentle persuaders. The standard, dull-ended style pictured below in the last post, is widely used among professionals, of which I include John who spent years on the hunter/jumper circuit.
I'd like to assure my friends and readers, that spurs are used with discretion and are not the norm for our rides. Our 3 OTTB's are all different and require different types of riding. We've never used spurs on Ruffy, for example. Harley can be willful, and ignore a rider's aids if he's being uppity, much like his half brother Declan's Moon who just participated in the 100 Day Thoroughbred Retraining Project. I'm pointing this out because Steuart Pittman is using spurs (Spursuaders, to be exact)on another, 11 yr. old, willful, OTTB.
I hope all my readers understand that Harley and the girls are never jabbed with spurs, or jammed into an overbent frame. John and I don't use draw-reins, chambons, and other paraphernalia to get a desired end result, at the expense of immense discomfort to the horse. We use crops, and occasionally spurs, if needed. We ride with light to loose contact so the horses can move forward freely, and we use bitless bridles.
Well, lunch break is over. I've said my bit and I hope I've not offended any readers as I so enjoy the contact I have with other riders via Harley's blog.