This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
6/ JUNE 2010 THE RIDER


Natural Horsemanship & Body Control Foundation Reining Training The Point of Spurs


so that I was reluctant to ride him. That’s not good. This is why you need to use spurs! He and I ended up being the 2003 Reining Canada Novice Horse Non-Pro Top 10. With this gelding, I had to end up using fairly sharp spurs since he was so dull sided and I have such a short & light leg. I’m not a very tall or big person. To Refine Your Leg Cues


Why Use Spurs


I had a gelding once that was heavy sided. The horse would not listen very well to my leg cue. Not at all.


The other point of spurs is to refine your leg cues. To refine your communication with your horse. Having to press, bump, kick & then kick harder was not learning to refine my leg cue... rather the oppo- site. Using spurs, when you are ready, will make your cues light and almost non-perceptible.


I was having trouble getting the horse to change leads for reining. He would not yield his hindend every time when I asked him to. He would sometimes miss the lead change. I also had trouble getting him to maneuver around things like trees or move him around obstacles while trail riding.


I got to the point where my legs were aching so badly trying to get this horse to leg yield. I had to push, bump and kick so hard! My legs were so sore after I rode. Have you been there?


When to Use Spurs


My story above is a good time to put on spurs or a sharper spur (in this case). When the rider has tried way too many times to get the horse to respond promptly to a leg yield, is fed up, frustrated and won’t try any more. (That’s assuming the rider knows how to use a spur properly.) Have you been there?


rider has to repeatedly lighten up the horse to the lighter spur at the beginning of most rides – almost like a bad habit ... then it’s time to move to a sharper spur.


Depends on the Horse Too


Or when the rider has to repeatedly really press hard with a light spur to the point of hurting your leg, and the horse looks like you’re giving them a mes- sage, then it’s time to move up to a sharper spur. The horse will not lighten up or respond promptly to the lighter spur. (It’s similar to going from no spur to a light spur.)


I just couldn’t do it anymore. I wasn’t having any fun. It was getting


Some horses are more naturally dull sided than others. Conversely, some horses are quite sensitive on their sides so spurs would not be needed as a moti- vator.


The idea here is that the rider has tried for a period of time to get the horse to lighten up to the spur-less leg cue and ‘it just ain’t workin’. Or the


with the horse and they understand what I want, then I will use spurs. Similarly, I also don’t use spurs when I am first starting a horse under saddle. I know some people do and that’s great. That means that the trainer knows how to be extra careful when using them. I just prefer not to make a mistake and acciden- tally scare a horse. That leads me to an interesting story...


The Green Broke? Lucky Buzz Horse Since I love to train horses, I do buy a ‘project’ horse from time to time from the local horse auctions. A green broke or unstarted young horse to train and then resell. Very, very early in my career, I decided to buy this grullo colored young gelding with Lucky Buzz breeding. I was told that the horse was ‘green broke’. I know... I know... Buyer beware... Well... With my mild spurs on (I call them ‘baby’ spurs), horse tacked up and ready to ride, I mounted the horse to get started. As soon as my spur of the opposite leg had reached around and touched his


The other time to use spurs (and there maybe others) is when the rider is ready to refine or quiet down their leg cue. They want the leg cue to be a light or slight cue. Just a gentle press with the spur on the horse’s side. Why not stay as light as possible? That’s the time to use a spur. As a rider you feel ready to advance your skills and to advance the horse’s skills to a level of a lighter leg cue. Just like the masters do.


When Not to Use Spurs


Let’s now talk about when not to use spurs. (In the photo you can see that some spurs are best left as decorations!)


Lakota offers: all aluminum trailers at lower prices All Aluminum Stock Units:


Reg. Our Price:


2-Horse Bumper Pull Straight Load w/ Change Room $16,950 $14,995 2-Horse Bumper Pull Slant Load w/ Change Room $18,060 $15,995


Stock Units Available Ready To Go! CornPro Horse Trailers


CornPro 2-Horse Straight Load Combo 7' Wide x 7' Tall $ 7,995 CornPro 2-Horse Slant Load Combo 7' Wide x 7' Tall Used Trailers:


2008 Lakota 2H Bumper Pull Straight Load 2006 4-Star GN 3 Horse w/12' Living Quarters


1999 Travalong 3 Horse Gooseneck Slant w/ escape door $ 4,500


We now sell McBride Trailers from $7,500! (Support your riding/sponsoring dealers)


$ 8,500


$11,500 $46,000


There are times when spurs need to come off or when a milder pair of spurs are just what’s needed.


Milder spurs maybe needed when the rid- ing you want to do requires a lot more leg movement. I use milder spurs for example when I am out on cattle drives. I know that I may use my leg more quickly or harder than I may realize, so I want to have a more forgiving or gentler spur. I may even take the spurs off if the horse is of the sensitive type. As riders, we try to use as gentle of a spur as we can that’s effective. Just like bits. I also think it’s a good idea to take spurs off when someone has no idea on how to use them. If a rider doesn’t know to turn their toe outwards and press the spur into the side of the horse then they could create problems. A very gentle bumping action is sometimes effective too; depending on the horse. Of course we all know not to harpoon a horse.


sides... I was off... Bucking!


That horse bucked all the way across the riding pen! I stayed on but it was quite an 8 second ride! Apparently he didn’t have very much riding on him... I guessed afterward that he might have had someone on him once.


Needless to say, I took the spurs off! I’ve been careful every since. :) (And you guessed it... it was before my extensive groundwork program. Ground- work anyone? ;O)


About the Author: Susan Dahl is a certified profes- sional horse trainer, NCCP coaching theory certi- fied, writer, competitor, clinician and owner/operator of Foundation Reining Training Centre, where she specializes in natural horsemanship & body control foundation reining training for horse & rider. For more information on her very innovative & fun approach to training, clinics, lessons, or coaching, please visit her website www.reinersuehorseman- ship.com.


“Putting my spin on spurs.”


Which leads me to another reason to take spurs off and that’s when the horse is getting agitated with the spurs. The tail is swishing. The horse is tossing their head. Or the horse is getting chargey or uppitty (it that a word? :). The tail swishing can become a permanent bad habit. (A tool in their ‘tool kit’ that we DON’T want. You can’t get rid of tail swishing like cribbing or weaving so it’s best to prevent it from starting.)


1 HWY#11, VAL GAGNE, ONTARIO P0K 1W0 Ph: 705 232-4051 • Fax: 705 232-6383 guays@ntl.sympatico.cawww.guaysgarage.com


The horse is trying to tell you that you don’t know how to use a spur properly (ie. to push or press) or you are using the wrong kind. (Too sharp and it hurts. Too mild and you’re nagging.)


“Putting my spin on things.”


About the Author: Susan Dahl is a certified profes- sional horse trainer, NCCP coaching theory certi- fied, writer, competitor, clinician and owner/operator of Foundation Reining Training Centre, where she specializes in natural horsemanship & body control foundation reining training for horse & rider. She has trained & won numerous ORHA, NRHA, & Rein- ing Canada Top 10 awards. For more information on her very innovative & fun approach to training, clinics, lessons, or coaching, please visit her website www.reinersuehorsemanship.com.


These are all great signs from your horse that you need to change your spurs. I also don’t use spurs when I first start rid- ing a horse. When I establish communication


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64
Produced with Yudu - www.yudu.com