Yes I did and would again if I had a horse at prelim level that was behind the leg.
Nothing worse than watching a horse being kicked along every stride without spurs, when all that is needed is one sharp poke to remind the horse it is his job to go forward and stay in front of the leg.
I could not ride a horse that had been taught to be dead to the leg by endless nagging.
Both DH and I have ridden prelim in spurs, sometimes it is better to pop them on and get a decent reaction than to nag away. Often a horse that has become a bit dead to the leg will respond well to the different feel of spurs.
You might be in a minority but you probably won't be the only one in spurs. As long as your lower leg is stable enough that you are using them properly and your horse responds well to them you won't get critisised.
Te he ! my old instructor made me use 'pony club' kicks on a lazy horse.
Really simple procedure, you ask politely - nothing happens - you ask again with a little more pressure - nothing happens - you then take your legs and spurs off the horse as far as possible and give it one huge thumping kick.
This always got the required result and the horse remained in front of the leg for sometime. If he dropped off again the above was repeated. It did not take long to teach him to respond to the lightest aid and he became a lovely responsive ride.
It's not pretty and I did keep a finger in the breastplate on occassions to avoid a backwards dismount, but it was a very effective way of keeping forwards momentum.
The same instructor also taught me how to use a dressage whip properly. The same principle, you do not keep niggling/tapping with the whip, if the horse had not responded to one or two polite requests the whip was used with a decent smack. It did not take long for him to realise it was far easier to do what was asked. He was an 18hh heavyweight who became as light as a feather to ride, polite and forward and I could give him aids without anyone seeing me do it. All achieved through an instructor who firmly believed you only ask once or twice and then you enforce and mean it.
That training has stayed with me forever and I still use the principle whether on the ground with horses on on board.
yes - i ride a horse who sometimes needs reminding to step under more - have plenty of energy just used in the wrong way. She gets a bit stressed with the whip when we've doen more schooling and work so i revert to spurs - also helps with straightness