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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

August 3, 2010

Correct Use of Spurs

I have ordered a pair of Jeffer's Humane Spurs. Have done so with a certain amount of trepidation as using spurs will be a "first" for me. Does anyone know of a proper resource on the correct gentle use, and how to keep your heels out of trouble? I'm wanting to use these when schooling and try to get her moving responsively off of my legs. She will move, but feels heavy and sluggish. On the other hand Phebes can be very sensitive and emotional, so I'm thinking this is going to require some finesse'.

Just in case anyone should think she'll be spurred to go faster....NOT. I'm wanting a more responsive side pass. Right now it is really sticky and taking way too much leg.

The spur I choose is a fat little knob, and has no sharp or pointed edges. Has anyone used a spur for schooling?

Jeffers® Humane Spurs
Stainless steel 1/2" band, 1 1/2" shank. Stainless steel "ball-end".


  1. You just have to have really good lower legs. Do you ever pop her with a heel when you don't mean to? If not you'll be fine.

    I used spurs on a few horses when i rode more western-ish. No finesse, but no cruelty - just to reinforce that "go" means "go RIGHT NOW", for road crossing safety.

    If the spurs aren't working, consider a dressage whip - you can tap her quarters to help with leg cues.

  2. I've used them, it sounds like my mare is very much like Phebes. Try to keep your hips angled and your knee tucked in to the saddle so that your toes are pointing forward (or mostly forward). Centered Riding by Sally Swift is very helpful in figuring that one out. Then always cue with your calf/the side of your foot before using the spur (I'm sure you already knew that :) ). My mare will always let me know if she thinks I'm using it too much. ;) Also I would try only using them for a couple of days and then going back to riding without.

  3. I ride with english spurs most of the time. Don't need the much, but more of a reinforcement. Hank is a move off the lower leg kind of guy, but once and awhile will decide to question me when asking to side pass etc. So, he gets lower leg, then heel w/o spur, and then if still questioning me, slight spur. That is all it takes.

    The other time I have used them is when something happens that I need him to move over NOW, quickly. Its rare, but things like anothers horse getting too close and maybe starting to kick, or the trail suddenly is crappy, and we need to move over to avoid the footing, or hazard.

    Most horses know when you have them on, and all it takes is a gentle reminder to listen to your leg.

    They are just another tool, and if used correct, a handy one ot have on our horses who think too much. lol