I had the pleasure of course designing the STCEC Chinese New Year Show this weekend. It was my first course designing work of the year. What I noticed was that Big Spurs are trending, not only amongst the uniformed units, but also young girls and 50 cm riders alike.
I do mean big. The biggest Fuck Off Spurs are in. The bigger the better. Rollers, Rowels, the whole shbang with bells and whistles. Upturned as well.
Never mind that most of them don’t even need to use spurs on their horses. Or that they can’t keep their lower (and sometimes even upper) leg still – it only adds to the drama to have the horse continually spurred into a hauling hand. If there is a little bounding, well, LOOK AT ME!
It seems to be a case of You Are What Spurs You Wear. No man wants to strap on short stubby ones. Hammer Heads, effective as they may be, are a curious design. Prince of Wales are off center and slightly bent, so they shall never do. The longer and thicker the shaft, the better, and even a bulbous rubber head.
A psychologist might think it is a collective case of penile compensation. The Freudians would be delighted that the girls seem to prefer those extra-long spurs with big knobs on the end. It is hard not to label it penis envy.
Some trainers walk around with their spurs on even when they are not riding. Big long roweled ones you might normally see in a Western Pleasure class or Pro Bull-riding Rodeo. They wear them all the time – at the café, in the office, teaching from the ground…. I think they get out of bed and put them on even before they go to the bathroom. It must hurt at the squatties.
It used to be that you had to ‘earn your spurs’. Nowadays just about anyone can wear them. The less qualified the instructor, the bigger the F.O. Spurs.
The course designing students I started with my seminar at the National Horse Show are starting to learn their trade. Three of them, Adrian Tu, Faudzi and Joseph Chong worked with me in preparation for, and at the show.
Unlike Level 0 “instructors”, this batch of guys are only trainees. They won’t earn their spurs till they pass an FEI Level 1 course. Even then they will be told to keep them off unless it is really needed.