Funny how some habits end up deeply ingrained. Mimi and I have one of those, a carry-over from our show days.
When I was showing, I always wore spurs, for both English and Western. Not because she was lazy, or because she needed “punishment,” but because it was one of those little things that differentiated “work time” from “play time.” When the spurs were on, that meant “Buckle down and work.” Rail work, schooling, things that required her to be “on” and performing. No spurs meant we could both relax and enjoy: trail riding, gymkhana, casual play days.
Her responsiveness coupled with using spurs also meant I barely had to move my legs to ask for a gait change…always a plus when it came to equitation classes.
To this day, she still does her best arena work when I slip on a pair of spurs. We can both work without them, but why make things that much more difficult? Especially when it comes to arena work, something neither of us particularly love anymore.