I am sure alot of you don't know how or what a judge is looking for in any trial when it comes to opening and closing gates.
This is a run down on how to score a perfect 10
My dominate hand for controlling my horse is my RIGHT hand so at no time will my left hand be used to controlling my horse.
The left hand must never leave the gate accept to latch and unlatch.
The horse must never make me stetch to do anything.
The horse must block the opening to prevent livestock from suddenly rushing through the opening.
This the means the gate must at all times be under your control, the horse needs to move through a small opening and you must never open the gate too wide to allow another animal to escape.
Since I am right handed, controlling the horse with the right hand , every gate I do the horse must swing his LEFT side to the gate.
He must position his body so the latch is by my left leg, a simple bend over slight to the left and the latch is right there.
With his body blocking the latch I bend over and undo the latch.
NOw the position of the hinges determines a ride through or a back through.
If the horse is facing the hinges he must back through. This means a slight side pass and I do this to his right opening the gate rather then pushing it through.
A slight side pass to my right and at the same time a slight back and rotate around the end of the gate, keeping the opening small and his body in it at all times.
So while he is side passing he is also backing and pivoting around the end of the gate putting you on the other side and facing the opposite direction. He then side passes agian to his left closing the gate. The minute the gate is closed he takes a step forward putting the latch once again at your left knee.
At no time did your left hand leave the gate, it did slide along the top to accomodate the horses movement but it never left the gate.
Done properly it is a smooth flow of motion and suprisingly horse quickly learn it. 2 or 3 days doing a few gates a ride seems to give them the idea if IF you have a strong side passer and obedient horse.
We did the hindges facing the horse.. Now have the hindges behind the horse.
In this case with the horse placing your left knee beside the latch you reach down , undo the latch, place your hand on the top of the gate and slightly side pass to your left while the horse backs slightly to prevent colliding with the latch post pushing the gate open and ride through the gap but BUT the horse needs to rotate again around the end of the gate putting you back facing the hindges on the other side. He again side passes to his left closing the gate and backs slight to put your left leg beside the latch.. You now release the gate and fasten the latch.
Once the gate is latched I side pass the horse away from the gate 2 steps and then pivot and ride away.
If you are going to do anything do it right, don't accept sloppy behavior just because you are on the trail and this is not difficult to teach if IF you have it firmly in your mind.
So flame away, I have my asbestos underwear on.:-)
I love doing gates! I wish the place I ride now had a trail course, it's a dressage barn so I am outta luck there. The only gates they have have springs on them to close quickly (why I have no idea, seems dangerous to me!) so I can't even practice on the outdoor arena gate no one uses!
Maybe I have earned the right to look down on most???
I don't see the point in starting a thread just to be confrontational and passive-aggressive.
And no, you have not earned the right to look down on most, least of all anyone here. No one has that right, it's very rude.
I started this post to help, you and many don't seem to see it that way. That is your loss.
The thread COULD be very usefull, but the statement you ended on is, in my opinion, confrontational. A good many of your posts in general seem quite confrontational. Sharing knowledge is great! This is supposed to be a "friendly" and supportive forum, you need not sympathize with other members situations ans statements, but empathy is something entirely different. I just hoped you could share your knowledge in a more friendly and supportive manner. You may find more positive responses that way.
I have no doubt that you have a lot of great knowledge to share, but keep in mind that other members opinions and methods are valid also:)
The entire problem with old people like you is you walk around with this attitude that nobody can ever teach you a **** thing. You've been around so long, you know everything - and that is the very first step to becoming the worst horseman around.
I understand you may not have very good people skills, but nobody enjoys some random dude online preaching and ranting about how everyone else is stupid just because they're young. We don't know you from a hole in the ground, and you sure as heck don't ever bother posting much more then insults and arrogance, so why on earth should people bother listening to you? We've never seen you ride, never seen you train, and every word you speak is nothing more then pure speculation on if you even have the ability to teach the things you preach about.
Experience is a great help but it is also a terrible hindrance. The older you get and the more you think you know, the less you're able to learn. Things change every single day, and just because people don't do it your way doesn't make them wrong.
Try and understand that and just MAYBE you'd find people a little more receptive to your posts.
I do gates as part of station hack classes at ASH and in time trials - I also regularly do them at home as it is 2 gates minimum before I am off the property.
In shows - Our way is about the same as yours Riosdad, except I can swap dominant hands - I guess i'm ambidextrous when riding, lol. So I have a look at the gate and the hinges and pick which hand to use so that I can ride forward through the gate - It is faster in a time trial to move through forward, pivot around and side-pass over than to back through. Again, you lose points if your hand leaves the gate for anything bar latching/unlatching.
However, I do gates however I feel like at home. I make sure my horse has the skills to do it correctly at a show - And these are constantly practiced in pieces - Leg yeild, moving haunches, etc. But no way am I going to do every gate the same as I do in shows - for one, it takes too long, and if I am late for PC or in a rush to bring some cows in, I'm not going to take the extra time to do it perfectly. I open the gate and shut the gate, however it may happen. Doing it differently in different situations and different gates makes for a more solid gate horse.
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.
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