Advice on Gate Issues

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makearun01
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:39 pm

Advice on Gate Issues

Postby makearun01 » Tue Jun 04, 2013 10:51 am

Hi everyone,

I'm having some gate trouble. I've only had this guy for a little over a year and he's been fine until a few months ago. Now, especially if there are other horses by the gate, he puts the breaks on and just wants to buddy up with them. I took this as him getting herd bound (he is a bit of a buddy-up kind of horse), so he's in a solo pen at home and I've been warming him up/keeping him by himself before we run. However, everywhere we go there are always girls sitting on their horses, standing beside/by the gate watching... so we always resort back the to same issue, breaks on and refusal to go in. In warm up, he goes in no problem (but there are other horses in the arena, so I assume he's fine going in since they're in there). When it's time to run, as soon as I finally get him away from everyone (which is hard with stubborn ol' him) and get his nose is in the arena, he associates that it's time to run and he's fine. He's not rearing or anything (yet anyway), just refusing and wanting to stay back with all the "cool kids" ;). If another rider rides us in, he goes in no problem, but when they leave he wants to leave with them. Lately I've been getting a friend or family member to lead us in (on foot) which works ok, but I don't always have someone to volunteer to wrestle him in. His pattern (when we get to that point ;)) is consistent and calm (I'm not whipping him or "over riding" or anything), and we don't work on the pattern at home anymore (but when we did, he was calm and attentive with no other horses around). Does anyone have any tips on what to do?... other than taking him, calmly, to the gate a lot, untacking at the gate and ME keeping relaxed and not get frustrated as it's time to run. Is this a confidence issue? Anxiety? Herd bound? Stubborn? All of the above ;)?

I'm looking forward to learning from you all!

Thanks so much!! 8o)

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Double D
Posts: 589
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2005 2:05 pm
Location: Alberta

Re: Advice on Gate Issues

Postby Double D » Wed Jun 05, 2013 4:00 pm

Since this is a new issue that has come up, I would question soundness. Have you had him to the vet, chiro, make sure your tack & saddle are fitting him well & not creating and soreness, etc? That would be the first place I would start.

Once you've ruled out physical issues? Then it's time to check yourself, are you getting nervous or anxious and is he picking up on that? I wouldn't say that this is a herd bound issue, I'd bet if there weren't horses there he'd still resist. The fact that he goes in in warm up tells me he knows...from you... when it's time to race and is reacting. If you are calm & confident he will pick up on that and it will help him feel safe, calm & confident. Try to make sure you yourself are staying very calm and quiet as you approach the arena, one hand on the rains down on his neck as if you were going for a walk in the pasture. It may be a good idea to have someone walk up with you on horse back for a few times, while you practice walking in calmly...one hand..on his neck.

I hope this helps, good luck, I hope you get this worked out, keep in mind that a happy horse likes their job.
"When your horse follows you without being asked, when he rubs his head on yours, and when you look at him and feel a tingle down your spine...you know you are loved." ~ John Lyons

Toni
Posts: 139
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2008 3:00 pm

Re: Advice on Gate Issues

Postby Toni » Thu Jun 06, 2013 3:48 pm

Totaly agree on checking your tack and making sure it fits.At the last JP I went to my horse warmed up real good.I am just starting him on barrels and he is well broke and have never had a buddy up issue with him anywhere.When it was time for our run as we were coming down the alleyway he tried to duck into where the other horses were standing.Got him back on track and in we went to do our run.He almost went down on the 3rd barrel,took it on his knees,had a fitter check him and my saddle was pinching into his left shoulder.

makearun01
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:39 pm

Re: Advice on Gate Issues

Postby makearun01 » Thu Jun 06, 2013 11:40 pm

Thank you both for your replies! I did have him checked head to toe for soreness etc, and there was nothing. But to be honest, this has started after getting a new saddle (not immediately after, but a few runs). I'll look into this!
Thank so much!
Last edited by makearun01 on Mon Jul 15, 2013 1:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

makearun01
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:39 pm

Re: Advice on Gate Issues

Postby makearun01 » Sat Jun 08, 2013 7:31 pm

Bought a new saddle and he's doing much better! Feel dumb for not recognizing it sooner, but happy I posted this! Thanks again ladies!


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