Have you noticed that if you ask someone why they wear spurs, you get one of two answers. 1) to make him go. 2) for refinement. Number two is usually given by ‘knowledgeable’ horse people and sounds good. However, if you use spurs to refine a leg movement (and I’m assuming that is what is meant. After all, how can you ‘refine’ spurring a spur jab?) and the horse doesn’t move when you use your leg, then by rights you cannot refine something you don’t have. Now, I’m not saying you can’t use spurs to refine the response to the leg request. Of course you can. I’m actually trying to point out that it seems to have become the norm to make the horse dead to the leg and use the spur instead of the leg.

Watch Grand Prix dressage and frequently, every step is a spur. The horse is already doing the movement, yet the spur is spur, spur, spur, spurring. I know if it was me and someone told me what to do and then jabbed me WHILE I was doing it, I wouldn’t be real happy about it. Probably what those pinned ears, white eyes and swishing tails are about, eh?