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Fast Alice

Can Someone Explain Spur Training?

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I think my question got buried in my bolting horse thread. My horse was trained WP and is/was spur trained. I am the hapless english rider who can't figure out what button does what. Can someone explain to me how it is used so I can have a clue? Thanks!

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to directly answer your question, i believe that western pleasure horses are trained to respond to taps of your heel/spur as opposed to the squeezing cues us english riders are used to. From my limited experience with my equestrian team's western horses, there's also more vocal cue involved. Kissing along with the heel taps (it seemed in the usual place we squeeze) seems to be a universal canter cue, but I never was very good at the canter because the whole tapping thing just didn't make sense in my head ;)

As I mentioned, this is from my limited experience, but from what I have seen/done/been taught, it seems to be the case.

As a side note, if you plan to use this horse from exclusively english riding, you might want to go about retraining her leg aids to respond to the usual english cues. Most english judges I know would go ape if they saw my legs bouncing away at the horse's side ;) (i'm exaggerating for amusement purposes)

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Can't believe Smilie hasn't checked in......

as a exclusively western rider, riding ONLY spur trained horses I could probably give some insight.

"spur" training is many things, really, and I will give my horse as an example.

My horse stops when I squeeze my calves, stops and rounds up into his back and down into his bridle.

when I roll my calves or spurs, my horse collects up and sucks back, along with, again, moving down into the bridle.

I dont, "flap" my horse to trot or canter. for a lope, I lay my outside leg on and kiss, for a jog, I cluck and give a bump, not a squeeze.

when I lift my hand slightly and squeeze, my horse rounds up his back and backs up.

So spur training = rounding up, checking back, head down.

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EXACTLY what exes said! Also with my sons horse...when asking for an extended jog, or when we "try" to ride him english the forward cue is bumping his sides lightly. An extended hold on his side is a "brake" or stop cue depending on how you do it. Which is exactly what Exes was saying!

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OK, I think I get what you guys are saying. Now, could you go through the steps to cue and round for the canter? This is where most of our trouble is right now.

Thank goodness for this forum. I am really learning a lot. :D

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Well, its pretty simple really, if you are riding in a western saddle, you would give a light squeeze and roll your heel up the barrel, ,that should slow your horse and round him up.

Ideally, the harder the squeeze & deeper the roll regulates how slow (or stopping) your horse goes, however you should not have to "ride the brakes" a well-trained spur broke horse only needs a reminder, they should hold their speed and collection by themselves.

Don't know if your horse was spur trained english or not but your horse may be confused as to where your spurs are hitting

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I find this a funny topic, because I ride my all around horses both English and western, and my cues are the same

The only difference being, my horses go one step beyond, ridden western, learning to maintain frame and collection without constant rein support

Also, the correct use of spurs is the same either discipline, and are used as a backup to leg aids only when needed, to have a horse very light and responsive to leg cues

If you are talking about the fad that came into vogue by some western pl trainers, a training method that has achieved a lot of controversy, then that is called a spur stop , as opposed to a horse just ridden correctly with spurs.

My horses collect off of leg and seat, not spur. More leg and you get more drive which in turn increases collection and slows a horse

The sucked back affect seen on some spur stop horses is marked down by judges not afraid to make a statement, and this sucked back effect makes a spur stop horse pretty much a one discipline horse, and is a detriment to a good all around horse.

My cues for a lope departure , lead change sidepass, turn on forehand turn on haunches is the same, either discipline. I don't give verbal cues , except maybe when I used to rein, and that is stopping from speed, so a soft whoa along with body language helps a horse to set up for a sliding stop

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Sounds like you ride just plain good horsemanship, Smilie. I am new to the QH breed, and my guy was trained for the breed shows for WP, but never shown as they decided he was just too small to cut it. This horse will spur stop and suck back, just as you described. Now that I know what it is, I will just retrain him to move correctly off the leg. We're a long way from self carriage. Due to all his time off, we are just starting over. We've spent a good two weeks on the lounge in side reins working on transitions and "whoa", and cure the bolting. So far, so good. :)

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Personally, IMO, what you should do is find a reputable trainer in your area to test ride the horse so they can figure out what buttons do what then have them train you to the horse. It will cause you a lot less confusion in the short term and the long run.

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thank you. I am working with a reputable trainer. However, she had the audacity to take off to Disneyworld with her family for two weeks. The nerve! [ROTFL]

Seriously, was just looking for information and thank you all for your replies.

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thank you. I am working with a reputable trainer. However, she had the audacity to take off to Disneyworld with her family for two weeks. The nerve! [ROTFL]

Seriously, was just looking for information and thank you all for your replies.

[ROTFL] [ROTFL] Well, what was she thinking.

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Hi Fast Alice

If your horse was truly trained with a spur stop, esp by someone who used it very aggressively, you will need a lot of re-training on your horse to get over his intimidation to move foreward.

This subject was covered very well on a pleasure horse forum, with some members there having the same problems (not bolting), just sucking back , with intimidation to move foreward.

Very hard to get these horses moving correctly in such events like HUS, western riding, etc

The spur stop was a quick fix to allow almost any client to ride with a drapped rein and move slow.

However, the movement suffered, and there was a very good article in H&R about a year ago, concerning the spur stop. The article was called, I believe 'The spur stop, riding the brakes'

Some horses were pictured that actually had scars from having spurs constantly held into them

Some judges and trainers spoke out harshly against it, and some, like in alcohol blocked tails, etc were wishy washy, with the idea that if you wish to compete at that level, you have to have a spur stop

I and many others disagree.

You can rate a western pleasure horse on a loose rein off of seat and leg alone, providing you have the training and body control on the horse. This creates a happy horse, not moving slow because of intimidation, but because of body control , conditioning and training, moving more naturaL and not sucked back

If you get a hold of Doug Carpenter's book or DVD, the training program that produces a world caliber western pl horse is out lined in detail. At no time does he advocate the spur stop

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If you get a hold of Doug Carpenter's book or DVD, the training program that produces a world caliber western pl horse is out lined in detail. At no time does he advocate the spur stop

Again, thank you Smilie. I will look for this resource. I have to admit, this is getting to be more complicated than what I thought, but I sure appreciate all the insight.

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