I am sorry this happened to you, but good for you for being concerned about your horse’s welfare. You should be able to ride your horse with or without spurs without causing rubs. A good starting place would be to have an instructor or knowledgeable friend evaluate how you are using your legs and see if, indeed, you are overdoing the spurs. It may turn out to be a simple case, requiring a different type of spur.
More important than the spur rubs is your feeling that the horse is not reacting sensitively enough to your legs without spurs, which is a good reason to take them off. As riders, our most important job is to get the horse in front of our legs. Using stronger legs isn’t always the answer, as horses can be desensitized by overusing aids as much as they can be sensitized to them. There are many possible reasons for your horse’s insensitivity. For the sake of this response, let’s assume it’s because your horse has become desensitized to your leg aids. The simplest exercise to improve his reaction to your legs is transition work: asking your horse to move forward promptly from your leg aid and reinforcing it immediately with a sharp tap of the whip should he not listen, then repeating this pattern
several times until your horse starts to react more readily. This can be done from the halt to the walk, the walk to the trot, etc. The exercise can also be executed with lateral aids, again reinforcing the aid with the whip should your horse not react quickly or easily. The important factor is that your horse gets a clear, consistent message from you any time he doesn’t react promptly enough for your liking.
When thinking about exercises to help you steady your leg, it’s important to remember that legs are steady when they are draped around the horse and not squeezed tightly on his sides. Start by making sure your stirrups are adjusted properly, as I see riders having problems when the stirrups are too long. When the stirrups