We were sitting on the back porch of a friends home last night catching up. Every time someone got out of their chair to go grab something to eat, drink or whatever the reason .. there it was.
The jingling of spurs.
Never knew how comforting a sound that would be ..
I didn’t know much about spurs until I met the Cowboy. Never spent much time around any horse people that wore them. Perhaps a couple. I didn’t understand the value in them, especially when working with a stubborn horse. Not until recently, anyway. I often go to the arena to ride without them because I like to think that I can get a horse to mind because, well just because I want to be nice. And because I know they are good horses. The cowboy informed me the other night am to wear them whenever I ride, regardless. It came as I was increasingly frustrated one of the newest horses to the herd was definitely not going to do what I was asking her to do. And the Cowboy was frustrated with me.
“How many times have I told you to always have your spurs on,” he said .. in a stern tone of voice as the horse reared.
“You’ve got to wear them to help get their attention sometimes,” he says to me today, knowing this is today’s post. “You’ve got to have something to make them respect your legs or your leg cues. Horses often become desensitized to someone sitting on them for any length of time. They do what they want and often do as little as they have to when they can get away with it. It’s like a kid. if there’s no consequence to any of their behavior, ever .. pretty soon they’re always pushing boundaries and going their own way versus the way you want. And a 1200 pound horse pushing boundaries can be dangerous. Most horses don’t behave well just because they want to please you. That’s a rarity.”
My spurs now live on my riding boots. Right alongside the entire family’s ..
I’ve also learned that the piece that fell off my daughter’s spur earlier this summer that needs replacing .. is called a rowel. A much more technical term than the ‘back of the spur’ as I’ve been calling it until recently. Go ahead and laugh all you veteran cowboys out there. At least I’m trying. And admitting how much I know I have yet to understand about this life and lifestyle.
So far .. despite the setbacks, falls and challenges, it’s been a lovely ride.
The parts of a spur include (via Wikepedia):
- The “yoke”, “branch”, or “heel band”, which wraps around the heel of the boot.
- The “shank” or “neck”, which extends from the back of the yoke and is the area that touches the horse.
- The rowel, seen on some spurs, a revolving wheel or disk with radiating “points” at the end attached to the shank.