Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Who invented spurs?

We don't know for sure.

The word "calcar," found in homer, may in some contexts refer to spurs. We have also found Roman spurs in northern Europe. A fourth century vase shows an Amazon warrior wearing a spur, but only on one leg.

Roman spurs were straight or claw shaped and quite sharp - some of them even had a guard to keep them from penetrating the horse's skin too far. (Modern horsemen consider making a horse bleed with the spur to be abuse). These guards may eventually have evolved into rowels - which first appeared in 10th century Spain. Early spurs were apparently secured to a rider's boot or sandal with buttons rather than with straps around the foot as are used today.

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