The Significance of Spurs Through History
Both in the Cavalry, and in the days of Knights and Kings, spurs were used as symbols
of one’s rank and status. The soldiers in the Cavalry (troops in the army trained
to fight on horseback) had to pass a series of riding and written tests before they
were allowed to ride with spurs, hence the saying “earn your spurs”.
to compete with each other for valuable spurs to show who was more important. Gold
or gilded spurs were worn only by knights or royalty. In those days, it is said that
you could tell the rank of the wearer by their spurs even if you could not tell by
their clothes. Spurs were so important to that time period that they were even buried
with their owner!
(You can learn more about this at www.CowboyShowcase.com/spurhistory.htm
and www.enwikipedia/wiki/Order of the Spur)
In early, early times the Romans developed
spurs in order to steer their horses with their legs, leaving their hands free to
fight. Cowboys basically use spurs for the same reason only in their case to use
their hands to rope cattle.
In our program, we use spurs to drive our horses forward,
and to better communicate with them using a clear cue to tell them where we want
them to place and hold their bodies.
In the Bible, Paul teaches us to “Spur each
other on to love and good deeds” Hebrews 10:24 NIV. God’s Words translation uses
the word encourage instead of spur.
“We must also consider how to encourage each
other to show love and to do good things.”
I feel like spurs are the perfect symbol
of what this program is about, encouraging, urging, driving, “spurring” ourselves,
our horses and each other on towards achieving excellence and becoming all we can
be. Despite where we were when we started, we can all do more.
We, like the Knights,
also use spurs as a symbol of accomplishment throughout the program to acknowledge
your hard work and practice in becoming a true horseman.