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My horse over the last 4 years has developed a horrible gate problem with Poles and Barrels and now it is carrying into the judged events as well. She won't walk towards the gate and just spins to face the other way and whenever someone tries to lead her in, or I ask too insistently she rears right up. I took her to see numerous vets and chiropractors and did X-rays and there is no sign of pain. I think it could just be disrespect? Does anyone have any ideas of what to do? I have tried blinders and walking her in on the ground and nothing seems to be working. I will admit that she is my first horse I've done all the training on and has been super easy other than this and I do let her get away with a lot of bad behavior, so is just being firmer going to help, or would it just freak her out more? HELP!!!!
Gate issues are either created by the rider, or created by pain, or a combination of both. Gate issues develop because the horse is frustrated and therefore no longer enjoys their job. So they don't want to go into the arena because they know it is not going to be a pleasant experience.

How old is your horse?
How long have you had her?

What type of vets did you take her to? You said xrays but what did they xray and what were they suspecting? Did they flex her? Do any nerve blocks?
Good vets will find something. Always. There's no such thing as a clean lameness exam. However, then it's a matter of determining if the findings are clinical or not.

So I have more questions on the "pain" topic which would be helpful if you can answer.

Do you have any videos of your horse with the gate issue? Doing barrel or poles? That would be very helpful as well.

You have to go about figuring out how you can make the arena a PLEASANT happy place for her. When horses have confidence and they understand their job, and know what is expected of them, they are good. If they are confused, anxious, frustrated, etc then of course they do not want to put themselves in that situation again.

Are you being clear with your cues?
Are you being fair and consistent?
Have you done her training slowly enough before adding speed?
Are you making sure she knows they has done the right thing when she does a good job?
Etc. Etc.
 
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