Also - We have many gates that can't be done the proper way - I.e. You need to drop your reins and use two hands to lift the gate over rocks/the latch needs two hands/two gates join in a corner and both need to be opened in cojunction. It is simply not practical to do gates in a show-worthy manner every time - And it does NOT mean I am being sloppy.[/quote]
I agree with wildspot. Some times you have to do what is expedient, not pretty.
Funny story though, the closest I have ever come to falling off my horse while doing a gate. The gate was on the side of a hill and there was a pile of old fence, wire etc to the side of the gate. So in order to open the gate from the back of my horse we had to face down hill and I had to keep my horse from going to close to the nest of wire beside the gateway. The gate latch was on the opposite side to us and really low. And I mean REALLY low. So my old horse is lined up nicely, we are pointed down hill and I am leaning down as far as I possibly can. I can just reach the latch with the tips of my fingers but it is one of those bloody latches with the safety bar that has to be lifted before you can slide it over the hook.
I go for the extra reach, I grab hold of Toby's neck up by the Poll for extra leverage - by this stage I am almost doing a hand stand. My lovely boy takes the pressure on his kneck as the sign to put his head down! I saw myself sliding straight down his kneck, all the way to the bottom of the hill. Somehow I managed to save myself all though it wasn't elegant and I got off to open that gate. Afterwards I thought about how I must have looked with my bum in the air and then my horse putting his head down, I thought it was pretty funny.