Via the Internet
Horsemen have used spurs at least since the days of knights in shining armor.
Spurs were generally used to control the animal, but not used in a cruel manner. Some of these old spurs with long, pointed rowels could be used that way, but in the West, a man who mistreated a horse would not last long in most outfits. Usually a slight motion of the leg is enough to get the horse’s attention.
Their usage differs in a rodeo since a bronc rider is scored on how well he keeps spurring.
Marshall Trimble is Arizona’s official historian. His books include The Arizona Trilogy and Law of the Gun.
If you have a question, write:
Ask the Marshall
PO Box 8008, Cave Creek, AZ 85327
or e-mail him at email@example.com