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Alpha Natural Horsemanship

‘Ask with lightness, encourage without forcing, correct with softness’
30 60 90 Days Training
Abuse NeglectRehab Part 1
Abuse NeglectRehab Part 2
Aids & Cues What are they
Assess Diagnose beforeFix
Are all horses trainable
Be safer use a Dummy
Behavior Retraining Tips
Behavior Solving Issues
Buying first Horse Guide
Buying Training Older Hor
Buying a Horse Part 2
Buying a Horse Mismatched
Buying a Horse Selecting
CalmingTrg 1 sided horses
How to Communicate Horses
How horses Communicate
Cycles and Pyramid Trg
Establishing Leadership
Exercises Warm Up
Flexion Lateral
Flexion Proper Training
Flexion Vertical
Foundation GroundTraining
Foundation Mounted
How Horses Learn
Liability Release
Motivating HorsesandMules
Natural Survival Instinct
OTTB Re Education
Overcoming riding fear
Saddle Fitting
Selecting A Trainer
Soft Inside Light Outside
Spurs How to Use them
Teaching Strategy
TRAINING Ask Properly
TrainingGreenRarely Handl
Training Guidelines
Train Outside the Box
Training Principals
Training Pyramid Natural
Transfer GroundworkSaddle
Turning and Neck Reining
Winter Training Workouts

Spurs – How to Use them

Spurs do have a place in the arsenal of highly skilled horsemen, but they're often used incorrectly by less experienced riders!

Your "go forward" cue is extremely important when working on lateral exercises with your horse in the saddle. It should be something like a "kiss" from the ground or a bump with the legs from the saddle. Although using a dressage whip like an extension of your arm to gently tap the horse can be helpful, you will never actually hit him with it. If your horse won't go forward from a "kiss," a leg bump or a whip tap, dismount and refresh this basic training on the ground.


Spurs do have a place in the arsenal of highly skilled horsemen, but they're often used incorrectly by less experienced riders. Here are some reminders: 

  • Spurs are NEVER used to cue a horse. They are only used to let the horse know he has missed a cue.
  • Unless you have excellent control of your leg position, you might not want to wear spurs at all. If your horse makes an unexpected move and you instinctively "grab" with your legs to stay on, you could easily end up spurring him forward when what you really want him to do is stop.
  • Never use spurs on a green horse. Give him time to learn the proper leg cues. 
  • If you put spurs on, you are more likely to use them. 
  • To keep your horse fresh to spurs, don't wear them very often.
  • If you must wear spurs, use the mildest ones you can find. Some are just blunt knobs. Or, you can cover rowels with duct tape at first to get your horse used to them. It may not be stylish, but it's a smarter way to start out.