Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: Northern Illinois
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.
** Don't be the rider who gallops all night and never sees the horse that is beneath him **