Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Jingle, Jangle Jingle.....

Lawdy!  Don't know where the heck this ear worm came from today!!!
(I KNOW it is mean to post it, but I don't want to suffer all by myself....)

The spur was used by the Celts during the La Tène period (which began in the 5th century BC), and is also mentioned by Xenophon (c. 430 - 354 BC.) Iron or bronze spurs were also used throughout the Roman Empire.The spur also existed in the medieval Arab world.Early spurs had a neck that ended in a point, called a prick, riveted to the heel band. Prick spurs had straight necks in the 11th century and bent ones in the 12th. The earliest form of the horseman's spur armed the heel with a single prick. In England, the rowel spur is shown upon the first seal of Henry III and on monuments of the 13th century, but it does not come into general use until the 14th century. The earliest rowels probably did not revolve but were fixed.
The spurs of medieval knights were gilt and those of squires were silvered "To win his spurs" meant to gain knighthood, as gilded spurs were reckoned the badge of knighthood. In the rare cases of ceremonious degradation, the spurs were hacked from the disgraced knight's heels with the cook's chopper. After the battle of the Golden Spurs in 1302, where the French chivalry suffered a humbling defeat, the victors hung up bushels of knights' gilt spurs in the churches of Kortrijk as trophies of what is still remembered by the Flemings as the Guldensporenslag (the battle of the golden spurs). The English named the French rout from Thérouanne as the Battle of the Spurs, due to the rapidity of the French cavalry's flight.
Prick spurs were the standard form until the 14th century, when the rowel began to become more common. The prick design never died out entirely, but instead became a thicker, shorter neck with a dulled end, such as the modern "Prince of Wales" design commonly seen in English riding.

Boot with spur, 19th century
Though often decorated throughout history, in the 15th century, spurs became an art form in both decoration and design, with elaborate engraving, very long shanks and large rowels. Though sometimes it has been claimed that the design changes were used because of barding, the use of barding had fallen out of fashion by the time the most elaborate spur designs were created. More likely, the elaborate designs reflected the increased abundance of precious metals, particularly silver, that followed the European exploration of the Americas that began in 1492. Spur designs in Spain and colonial Mexico were particularly elaborate. For example, the spurs of the Spanish Conquistadors were sometimes called Espuela Grande, the "Grand Spur," and could have rowels as large as six inches around.
In northern Europe, the spur became less elaborate after the 16th century, particularly following the Stuart Restoration, but elaborate spur designs persisted, particularly in the Americas, descendants of which are still seen today, particularly in Mexico and the western United States, where the spur has become an integral part of the vaquero and cowboy traditions. The spur as an art form as well as a tool is still seen in western riding, where spurs with engraving and other artistic elements, often handmade and utilizing silver or other precious metals are still worn.


  1. Whoever wore the spike ones should have had them used on HIM!

    1. I agree Gorges! I think they were used on battle horses. A well trained horse doesn't need them. My neighbor rides "English" and only uses round rubber tipped ones as a reminder so the horse can concentrate on it's lessons. I had never seen any like that before.

  2. They probably used the spiked spurs on foot soldiers who would be trying to pull them off their horses or the enemy's horses trying to maim that horse or rider.

    1. I bet it hurt to get stabbed by one of those!