Rushing Gates - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 11 Old 01-22-2013, 01:04 PM Thread Starter
Yearling
 
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Rushing Gates

I was wondering if I am handling this correctly, as I have had some success this way. But if there are any other ideas, please let me know!

When I worked with Tana (spoiled broodmare), she liked to bum rush gates a lot. To the point near running you over when entering. I worked her to where all I have to say is "wait" and she does, until the gate is open and I can walk her in calmly.

Given this experience, I transferred it to Chance when turning him in, and he's done great. The only problem now with rushing, is when we go through things that are "scary" or generally unnerving for him.

When he rushes past things, I walk him through multiple times until he is calm. Then, I do something else, like yeilding hind quarters.

I have not gotten the chance to work with him for a while because he is an hour and a half away, and due to funds and winter weather, it has put a damper on things.

Last time I went out my car got stuck for two and a half hours. ><
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post #2 of 11 Old 01-22-2013, 01:20 PM
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Your problem is a leading problem, not a gate problem.
If you have a friend's horse that is calm around fences you will need this horse to help you. Your friend walks her horse around the gate, you follow with yours, your friend walks her horse back out again, you two follow. Rinse, repeat, rinse, repeat, ad nauseum.
When I first bought my horses (1985), I remembered the good advice that you always turned your horse's head towards you before you released for turnout. When I got my first herd of 6 I couldn't easily catch them. It was a comedy watching me with a halter and lead, although they were ALL broken to ride. I started training with grain. I poured it into a bowl outside of their turnout and I took the first horse that I could halter outside to eat it. The others ALL watched him. The next day my herd leader was first to the gate to be haltered and tied and grained. After that, they all learned to put their heads over the gate, wait calmly to be haltered, calmly led outside of the gate while I shut it, calmly to be tied, then calmly to be grained. They came out and were turned out again in their pecking order, and had to turn, put the head over the gate after I shut it, and Wait to be released. After that I NEVER had trouble catching these horses, and their manners greatly improved. I also groomed them while they are eating, a practice I continue to this day. Dismiss the notion that a horse should be left to eat in peace. I expect my horses and my dogs to let me handle them while tied and eating. If one of my dogs growls while petted while eating she is punished, and I take the bowl away. Same with the horse--the food is removed, but the grooming isn't.
This is basic training. Once you fix the bad manners, you can move on to good foot manners (for cleaning and trimming/shoeing), and good tacking up manners.
Training is ALWAYS difficult in the winter. I've found that it has become my best time of year to pinpoint and correct the little problems that plague me throughout the warm riding season. So...be positive, make a workable plan and don't consider the retraining finished until it's...finished.

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post #3 of 11 Old 01-22-2013, 02:41 PM
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Should never ever halter or unhalter over a gate. What happens if you get fingers caught and that will happen, you will be drug over the gate and seriously hurt when that does.

But it is a leading problem and you need to make sure when turning loose that you are not "rushing horse off" by throwing hands/arms up to send them off.

Turn horse to face gate, far enough into paddock or whatever that you are clear of gate area, and make it back up and then stand. Begin unhaltering and as you drop halter you step back towards gate so if horse wheels you don't lose teeth.

And also when leading, make sure you stop and make horse stand still, you vary your walking speeds making horse match your pace, and that anytime you begin leading you start with a good sound stop first. That way horse gets used to how fast you want to go, and is paying attention to you.
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post #4 of 11 Old 01-22-2013, 02:45 PM Thread Starter
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Haltering over the gate?

I make sure I am in the pasture with them when I halter. But I think I am misunderstanding.

I will try that out, thank you!
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post #5 of 11 Old 01-22-2013, 03:18 PM
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post #6 of 11 Old 01-23-2013, 05:20 PM
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I don't know why it didn't post my answer yesterday.
Anyway, what I'd do if my horse was rushing gates would be to back them through the gate. Lead him up to it, open gate, then circle him away, and back him through it. Make him think "I'd better be careful" instead of just running over you!

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post #7 of 11 Old 01-23-2013, 09:10 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you.

Its not just with those two, either. The mustangs at practice I've been trying to get them to wait for me to go through the walk way (its too small for horse and handler to walk together-- even for me, and I'm tiny-- and its a door, too) so that no one gets hurt. They don't rush it, they just try to squeeze in with you.
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post #8 of 11 Old 01-23-2013, 09:50 PM
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Not sure I'm 100% understanding, but lots of backing up will help with leading issues, too. Helps earn the respect of a horse. Try it a few times at least.
Best of luck to you

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post #9 of 11 Old 01-23-2013, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Oh, sorry. Let me try to explain.

I go to a practice at an indoor arena, and we only use the "people" door to get in and out because the only other opening is the huge opening for the tractor to fetch the bales of hay out that are on the far end.

So when we bring the horses in the indoor arena to ride, its too small for both horse and person to walk through without squeezing. Or rather, the person squeezing.

I stop, ask them to wait and if they move with me, I stop, give a bump on the lead rope and ask again. It isn't a huge problem, as I could easily have the horse walk out first, but I don't know if that would have any problems later on or not.
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post #10 of 11 Old 01-23-2013, 11:06 PM
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Oh. Ok. Well I would definitely get them to follow me instead of you following them. The lead rope bump should be sufficient.

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