How to Put on Riding Spurs

Written by michael rippetoe
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The addition of spurs can make a rider more effective and in better control of the horse. Whether riding English or western, spurs can be used for many of the same reasons. Some horses are so well trained to spurs that the rider can direct the horse with only the spurs and no hands. It is always important to remember that improperly used spurs can cause serious injury to the horse, so they should always be used with care by experienced riders.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Spurs
  • Spur straps

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Instructions

    English Spurs

  1. 1

    Determine the inside of each spur. This is done by looking at the spur and seeing which way the spur is bent. The inside of the spur is the side that the spur shank is bent toward.

  2. 2

    Install the spur strap. This is done by feeding the leather strap through the strap holes on the outside from the top inside first. Then the strap loops over to the inside and is fed through the strap hole from the bottom inside. Repeat this step for the second spur.

  3. 3

    Place the spur on the back of the boot at the level of the rider's heel. Some boots have a bump on the back to locate the spur. The bottom loop of the strap goes in front of the heel under the sole of the boot. Buckle the spur on top of the boot. Repeat this step for the second spur.

    Western Spurs

  1. 1

    Determine the inside of each spur. This process is the same as determining the inside of an English spur.

  2. 2

    Install the spur straps. Western spur straps attach to the spur on a button that hinges to the body of the spur. The straps have two pieces, the buckle half and the hole half. The buckle half of the strap installs on the inside off the spur with the hole half on the outside. Repeat this step for the other spur.

  3. 3

    Place the spur on the back of the boot, on the boot heel. This is a difference from English spurs. Buckle the strap halves on top of the boot. Repeat this step for the other spur.

Tips and warnings

  • Make sure the spurs are not too tight on the boot, it will limit the range of movement in the ankle. Take care to only use the spurs intentionally. Constant tapping of the spur will deaden the horse's side. Make sure the horse is used to spurs.
  • Never use spurs on a horse that is not used to them. Spurs can scare them and cause serious injury to rider and horse. Improperly used spurs can cause serious damage to the horse.

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