Originally Posted by Stillstandin
Like Rob stated, you should never allow your horse to swing sideways or turn backwards while being in the hole (gate). If you are sideways, not facing the cattle, it is very easy for trash (strays) to slip past your horse's hip through the opening. You also have to be in position where your horse can freely move from side to side and foward towards the cattle.
#1 rule in working cattle - the cattle don't read the game book.
I have successfully blocked at the hole with my horse sideways. I shoulder into the trash and turn it to take it with me when I head for the next number.
Communication is critical when team sorting. The cutter is typically watching the critter s/he is cutting. The team members on the line or in the hole have to talk if they have trash hitting too hard.
A good horse for working cattle knows where it's hind quarters are. Very effective for sweeping at the hole and effortless to turn a run away.