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!!