How To Pick The Right Spurs?

Spurs are excellent tools that help in guiding horses with leg signals or cues. The rowel spurs have been in practice for centuries by horsemen. There is a plethora of varieties available today in multiple forms. The confusion begins when one has the responsibility to choose a specific set of spurs. Several elements come into play when shopping for the perfect set of rowel spurs. It is also important to ensure that one is aware of the anatomy of the spurs before getting hold of a set.

Shank Length

The length of the shank plays a vital role in picking the right spurs. One of the most efficient ways to decide the shank length is to climb up to the saddle in the seat. This allows the rider to identify how far is his/her hell from the barrel of the horse. When one rides using shorter stirrups or support systems, the shank length will also be shorter. Similarly, when longer stirrups are used, the length of the shank will be longer. Thus, depending on the style of the ride (English or Western, the right shank length must be considered.

Riding English or Western

Whether one is riding English or Western style, rowel spurs are common, but specific types are used. In the English riding style, the stirrups are shorter, which provides a closer reach to the barrel of the horse. On the other hand, in western horse riding, the stirrups are generally longer which makes the rider’s feet positioned forward. Thus, there is less space between the barrel of the horse and the rider’s heels. Henceforth, English riders prefer a rowel spur with a shorter shank length instead of the longer shanks used in Western horse riding.


The yoke of the spur must fit the snug around the heel of the rider’s boots. It is, therefore, recommended that riders must wear boots that have the perfect fitting. It is the need for spur straps of the boots that rely on how well the yoke fits in the boots of the riders. Yoke is regarded as one of the important anatomies of rowel spurs. It is the component of the rowel spur that is linked to the heel of the boot of the horse rider.

Type of Rowel

Picking a rowel should be influenced by the riding style (English or Western) along with the horse’s responsiveness to leg pressure. With western-style spurs, the rider has to assess the length of the rowel along with the number of wheel teeth installed. Some rowels are designed with more teeth and are placed closer. The rowels that are with lesser teeth are favored for circumstances where a faster response is demanded, usually with stubborn horses. Depending on the situation, the types of rowel must be considered.


The rowel spurs are utilized as a tool that guides horses. Additionally, spurs are also used to satiate the space between the barrel of the horse and the heels of the rider. One of the surprising aspects of rowel spurs is that if a rider has decided to wear them, it is not mandatory to wear them.