How to Wear English Riding Spurs

By Amy Cocke

Spurs are used by intermediate and advanced riders to increase the pressure of the leg aids when a horse is not willing to move. Only riders capable of controlling their legs so that leg aids and spur aids can be applied separately should consider riding with spurs. A rider that grips with the heels or applies the heels to give leg aids, rather than using the calf, should work on strengthening her legs before putting spurs on.

Putting Spurs on Boots

Thread the spur straps through the slots on the spurs so that the straps go underneath and around the soles of your boots and buckle on the side of your foot facing away from the horse. The pointed part of the spur, called the shank, should angle down.

Slide the spur on so that the strap goes under your foot and the band of the spur (the two parallel sides) wraps around the back part of your foot.

Rest the spur just under the seam around the ankle of your boot so that the band of the spur is parallel to the ground. The band should not tilt upwards or down. Many boots manufactured recently have a spur rest on the back of the boot designed to keep the spur from slipping down, but some spur rests prevent the spur's band from being parallel to the ground. If your spur rests is one of these, don't use the spur rest and let the spur rest where it should.

Check that the spur is the correct length by riding your horse. You should be able to apply the spur by just lifting your heel slightly. If you have to make a big effort (or never reach the horse's side), the spur is too short. If you spur your horse even without lifting your heel, the spur is too long.

References

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