The Spanish word for “spurs” is “espuelas.” The history of spurs goes back to Roman times when they were used for horseback warriors. Spurs are now mainly used in Western riding styles for communication and to aid the rider with the control of their horse.
There are many types of western spurs with different uses. Here is your guide to western spurs, so you know which one is right for you!
Spurology: What are Spurs?
A spur is a metal prod fixed to the boot’s heel with a strap by which it is attached. Western Spurs, or spurs, can be used to help direct and control a horse. It is also used as ornamentation or a status symbol by those who believe that spurs represent honor and chivalry.
Western Spurs are typically made of stainless steel or nickel-plated (silver) as their primary material. You can find spurs with faux pearl, gemstones, and other materials as the handle grip to give it a little extra style.
What Are Spurs Used For?
There are several ways you can use a Spur, but these are the most common ones:
- As a training tool:
- Show prestige and fashion:
- Communicating with horses:
Nb: They should not be used as a punishment and should only be used when needed.
Common Types of Western Spurs
Western Spurs come in many different styles depending on what you want to use them for:
Here is your guide to the most common types of Western Spurs:
1. Circular Style Spurs
Circular spurs are the most common type of spur and are ideal for those who need a basic, everyday spur. They have a simple design and are typically made of stainless steel or nickel-plated material. These spurs have a circular design at the end that is great for getting horses to move forward.
These stylish spurs have small metal balls at each end to prevent over-spurring, which gives the rider more control. They are typically worn by beginner riders who need a little extra help getting their horse moving.
2. Button Style Spurs
Button Spurs are another common type of Western Spurs that has a more traditional look. They are named for their button-shaped design on the outside of the spur. These spurs have a rounded, button-like end and are typically worn by more experienced riders.
They are made to fit comfortably in the rider’s boot and provide a better grip for more accurate communication with the horse. They are often seen in rodeo events and come in many different styles.
3. Diamond Prick Spurs
This popular spur is designed with a diamond-shaped end that is perfect for roping horses. It is made to be lightweight and easy to use and has a sharp prick at the end to get the horse’s attention.
The prick design provides more stimulation for the horse, which makes them move faster. They are also great for getting horses out of trouble or moving them in the direction you want them to go.
These spurs are typically worn by more experienced riders who need a spur that is effective for roping horses. They are typically worn on the outer side of the boot and pointed up to avoid any uncomfortable poking when riding or walking around in your boots.
4. Cloverleaf Spurs
Cloverleaf Spurs are a popular choice for those who want an ornamented spur with some extra style. These spurs are made with an ornamental design that is great for adding a little flair to your outfit. They typically come in faux pearl or gemstone material, giving them a refined appeal.
These spurs are typically fashion accessories or for show events and should not be used for everyday riding. This spur is ideal for those who need a little extra flair when competing in show events. It is also great for those who want to stand out from the crowd with a unique spur design.
5. Western Trail Spurs
These Spurs are explicitly designed for trail riding and are perfect for those who need a little extra help when navigating the trails. They come with a wide, flat design perfect for getting horses to move forward without over-spurring.
The Trail Spurs are also made with a heel spur that is great for getting horses out of trouble or moving them in the direction you want them to go.
These spurs are ideal for those who need a spur that is both functional and stylish while trail riding. They are also great for beginners who need a little extra help when starting out on the trails.
How to Choose the Right Spur:
There are many different types of spurs on the market to fit any need. Choosing the right type of spur is important based on your needs and desired purpose for riding.
When choosing the right spur, it is important to consider the following:
- Purpose of Spur: What are you using it for? Showing, everyday use, roping, etc.?
- Boot Type: Do you have a Western or English boot?
- Heel Spurs: Do you need a heel spur?
- Size and Shape: What shape and size do you need?
- Ornamentation: Do you want something with extra flair or style? Cloverleaf design, swirling design, Texas Spurs, etc.?
Once you have answered these questions, you can easily find the right type of spur for your needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Are Western Spurs Worn?
Western spurs are typically worn on the outer side of the boot with the point up. This prevents any uncomfortable poking when riding or walking around.
How Do I Know What Size To Get?
Most spurs come in different sizes, so it is important to measure your boot size and choose the corresponding size spur.
Can Spurs Be Worn All Day Long?
No, spurs should not be worn all day long. They are meant for short-term use, typically when riding a horse.
What type of boot do I need to wear with my spurs?
Most Spurs are designed to fit boots especially western, but there are also options for English boots.
Spurs are not necessary to ride; however, many riders prefer using them for an extra level of communication with the horse.
They come in many different types with various shapes and sizes designed to fit certain situations.
Once you know your needs, it will be easy to find the right Spur that fits your lifestyle.