Extremely Gate Sour! - Page 2

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Extremely Gate Sour!

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  • Barrel horse won;t go in the gate
  • My barrel horse wont go through the arena gate

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    06-13-2012, 08:10 PM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by CLaPorte432    
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...
What I got from the OP was that he runs to the gate while he is IN the arena.
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    06-13-2012, 08:28 PM
Ohhhh this is a pretty straight forward fix :)

Every time you go near the gate, work lots. Circles, changes of direction, leg yield, figure eights. When you go away from the gate, relax, loose rein and just hanging out.

Back to the gate, work hard, away from the gate relax.

Sky used to do this with me. It lasted about.. a week and then I fixed it.

I like Cowchick's approach too, work hard outside arena, relax inside.

Or you can do what we do at my barn. We leave the arena gate open and we change from outdoor to indoor, or if you don't have that set up, in the arena, out of the arena.
    06-13-2012, 08:41 PM
I'd be starting to try to change his thinking by changing what he is asked to do in the area altho it starts before the gate. Why not ride to the gate, dismount and walk around the arena, mount, dismount and walk out? Next time remove his saddle, walk around, do up your shoe lace, move some obstacles, saddle him up and walk more then leave. Do this for at least 5 days, in a row if time allows. He is starting to figure out the arena can be a place to relax. Take a chair in there and feed him carrots, anything that is very low energy that has nothing to do with work. The reason he is running to the gate is it represents the finish line to him. He goes through it and he's done what he was supposed to do. He can't figure out why you won't let him thus his reaction.
    06-14-2012, 12:03 AM
I agree with Sky and Ian. Work hard by the gate, rest away from the gate. Every horse responds differently, so try some of the suggestions and see what works for you and him. The only thing I would add is to not be afraid to jump off and correct him on the ground. It sounds like some of his behavior is dangerous. Keep a halter and lead rope on him while riding and jump off when he is unsafe. Immediately make him work hard by lunging small circles, yielding fore and hind, backing up. Then, when he's puffing, mount up and go back to riding like nothing happened. This works when a horse refuses to move forward too.

You can be safe and still correct behavior.
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