Spurs are small pieces of riding equipment worn on the back of a rider’s boot heels, and they provide direct communication from a rider to his horse.
Spurs provide subtle communication to the horse, and are used in conjunction with other aids to encourage a horse to move forward, laterally, or with urgency.
The word “Spur” comes from the old Anglo-Saxon “Spura, Spora, Spurnan” which loosely means “to kick or urge on”.
Any equine tool can be cruel if used improperly, and spurs are no exception. In general, spurs should only be used by experienced handlers who know how to employ them properly.
Each equestrian show organization has different rules for spurs regarding their size and type in competition.