Working A Gate to Learn Precision

Posted in: Featured, Horse Training, Rodeo

Everything I want my horse to know I can teach him working a gate. Working a gate has been a training block for me for years, allowing me a place to evaluate and learn each particular horse.

  1. How well do they tolerate pressure?
  2. How well will they move their feet?
  3. How well developed are their patience, and more importantly will they do just as much as I ask?  Not do more and not less.
  4. Does this horse have the capacity to be precise?

Precision means moving the extra maybe 6 inches or 3 inches closer to a gate. This is often the place where I learn what discipline that horse needs and how precise I can ask him to be! It can take quite a bit of time for my young horses to quietly move the extra 3 inches it takes to comfortably reach over to open a gate. Many horses get maybe within a foot or so of the gate and as I lean over they move away even farther from the gate. With time and confidence, a horse will walk right up and stand in a position I have taught them and be quiet, confident and precisely where I taught them, maybe 3 inches beside the gate for an easy reach.

Movement: Forward, Back, Left and Right.

Cash N Time, my 8 year old gelding, already a forward moving and thinking horse, is ever willing to go forward, however, working a gate on him has incorporated moving not only forward, but left and right, while having to handle being precise and patient. These values are building blocks for his success as a high end barrel horse, as he would rather rush through the alley and his run. By keeping him precise and thoughtful in the alley, his feet slow down just enough to clock well in a barrel race.

As I walk down they alley, I’ll ask him to move 2 inches to the right, then 12 inches to the left, tuning him precisely into me and gaining that quiet disciplined mind. This precision he and I learned working gate after gate after gate, in all directions all
over our place…mastering forward, back left and right in inches.

Posted in: Featured, Horse Training, Rodeo

About Lynn Kohr

I am a barrel and pole horse trainer, giving springtime barrel racing and pole bending clinics and workshops, competing in barrel racing and pole bending futurities while marketing our horses for sale. I am a Mom of 3: Sage, Cedar, and Stratton. And wife of...

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