Extremely Gate Sour!
 
 

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Extremely Gate Sour!

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  • Horse sour in one direction
  • Getting rid of gate sourness in a horse

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    06-13-2012, 11:05 AM
  #1
Yearling
Arrow Extremely Gate Sour!

Okay all, this may or may not be long but I need some advice! So Charlie is an eight year old gelding, severly abused, (yes real abuse) starved, beaten while still running barrels anytime his owner could manage to haul him into the trailer.

Long story short on this part I picked him up two years ago, have worked almost a year to gain his trust and respect. He's amazing on the ground and under saddle until he sees a GATE. He is extremely gate sour. I was riding in the outdoor arena and he hauled a** right to the gate and paced like a barrel / gaming horse that's ready to go. I pulled him away circled him, made him move his feet and he went right back to the gate. Then after about twenty minutes of this little baby rears started, and head tossing. We'd get to the gate, I'd go to turn him away and he'd pop up, for the most part I could time it and give him a good kick before he went up. It's more like a bunny hop then rearing. He'd then turn in a circle and stand pacing at the gate again. I went through the checklist of pain, saddle fit, anything you could think of it's fine. I've heard a lot of nervous / over anxious gaming horses get like this. I then started mounting him in different corners away from the gate and tried to keep his attention off of it, but as soon as he sees the gate it's game over. I NEVER mount, ride through or encourage anything by the gate. I don't run him at all on games, he gets way more hot than he already is. If there is NO GATE in site, it's like he's a completely different horse.

I'm NOT ready to give up, I want to know anything and everything I can try. Or maybe what's worked for you all?

What can I do to make him understand he doesn't need to stand by the gate, that he's fine and maybe to help get his mind off of it.
     
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    06-13-2012, 11:27 AM
  #2
Yearling
One thing you could try would be to just keep the horse moving forward without directing him at all with the reins. If you ride a western saddle you can get a dog collar and run it through the gullet. It's called a night latch and I think it comes from back in the day when cattle would sometimes stampede on the trail at night and the only thing to do was hang on and go with it and pray. :P

It might even work better to remove the bridle entirely, or at the very least replace it with a halter and lead rope so that you're not so tempted to direct him with the reins. Then just keep him moving anytime he goes to the gate, don't try to stop him from going there, and encourage him to rest when he's away from it. I think of it like "you're getting warmer, now colder, now warmer!" when the horse goes where I'd like for him to go. It's probably best to do this when you've got the whole place to yourself for an extended period of time.
COWCHICK77 and Annanoel like this.
     
    06-13-2012, 11:40 AM
  #3
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian McDonald    
One thing you could try would be to just keep the horse moving forward without directing him at all with the reins. If you ride a western saddle you can get a dog collar and run it through the gullet. It's called a night latch and I think it comes from back in the day when cattle would sometimes stampede on the trail at night and the only thing to do was hang on and go with it and pray. :P

It might even work better to remove the bridle entirely, or at the very least replace it with a halter and lead rope so that you're not so tempted to direct him with the reins. Then just keep him moving anytime he goes to the gate, don't try to stop him from going there, and encourage him to rest when he's away from it. I think of it like "you're getting warmer, now colder, now warmer!" when the horse goes where I'd like for him to go. It's probably best to do this when you've got the whole place to yourself for an extended period of time.
Thank you! Cool information too. (: I will definitley have to try this. For the most part I do have it too myself, it's very nice. I feel so defeated lately with this issue, but I feel working with him and not giving up is what I want and need to do. He's my main man!
     
    06-13-2012, 12:00 PM
  #4
Yearling
I think the above advice is very good! One other thing I would add. Keep his head pointed where you want him to go. Leave him on a "loose" rein (by loose I mean the normal for him, the one that encourages him to move forward, whatever that may be). When you pass the gate, if he tries to prance, let him, but keep him facing the direction he is supposed to be going in. Do not let him face any other direction. He may try to turn towards the gate, bunny hop, crow hop, or dance. Keep him on a loose rein, letting him throw his little fit, except YOU control the direction he faces, which is the way forward, on a loose rein.

When you do this, you are telling the horse that no matter what he is doing to try to get near that gate, he must still acknowledge that you are asking him to go forward and continue with his job. Eventually, he will get sick of dancing in place and throwing a fit, and all you have to do is keep him pointed in the right direction. When he calms down, ask gently for a walk forward. Remember, you need to keep a loose rein. You are not fighting with him, but simply correcting him when he is not facing the correct direction. As long as he is facing that direction, be calm and relaxed. When he tries to turn, simply ask him to reface that direction, and then relax again. If he backs up, don't pull on his reins or anything, let him, but once again, focus on that direction.

Eventually he will catch on and will move forward. What he wants is to face the gate and prance, like he was obviously conditioned to do by a precious owner. If you keep his mind focused by not allowing him to face the gate, he will eventually lose interest, ignoring the gate. With this technique you can avoid a huge fight with him, because you are asking for something simple from him.
     
    06-13-2012, 12:01 PM
  #5
Green Broke
I bought a horse like that last winter. He would run off and try to jump the gate to get out or sull up against it. I did pretty much what Ian explained.

I would work his butt next to the gate, then take him away from it and let him stand and catch his breath. Pretty soon he figured out he wasn't getting away with anything. I am a huge stickler for not riding horses out of the arena. I always get off somewhere, loosen the cinch and lead them out. But even better is to loosen the cinch and leave them tied to the fence in the arena before leading them out. It gives them an chance to relax and not associate the arena purely with work and the gate being done. Also If you have multiple gates in your arena I always go out a different gate than I go in. And I switch it up constantly.
I have even taken it a step further by working a horse outside the arena, take him in, loosen his cinch and tie him in there for a while until he relaxes, then lead him out.
     
    06-13-2012, 12:09 PM
  #6
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by COWCHICK77    
I have even taken it a step further by working a horse outside the arena, take him in, loosen his cinch and tie him in there for a while until he relaxes, then lead him out.
Holy sh*t I'm going to totally steal that one and put it on a DVD. It's those kinds of ideas that lead to making Clinton Anderson money.
     
    06-13-2012, 05:54 PM
  #7
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ian McDonald    
Holy sh*t I'm going to totally steal that one and put it on a DVD. It's those kinds of ideas that lead to making Clinton Anderson money.
Haha...well just give me a cut of the profit of your DVD....watch out CA..make way for IM!
     
    06-13-2012, 07:48 PM
  #8
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by COWCHICK77    
Haha...well just give me a cut of the profit of your DVD....watch out CA..make way for IM!
Yes. IM: The internet horse whisperer/expert.
     
    06-13-2012, 07:54 PM
  #9
Green Broke
Yep...I like it.....You can IM, IM with all your horse training questions....I think we should exploit this to the fullest extent. Perhaps we need to contact a tack company so we can market your tack line at extremely inflated prices?
     
    06-13-2012, 07:58 PM
  #10
Trained
I'm confused...So your horse runs TO the gate? Does he go in the arena?

Most barrel horses with gate issues won't go near the gate. They throw an absolute fit, balk, rear, spin, back away etc. But they don't actually go to the gate and get excited while standing there.

I can give you information but I'd like to clarify my above question before typing a bunch of stuff that doesn't concern your horse's situation...
     

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