View Full Version : Teaching Nappy horse to open gates
19th Apr 2010, 03:18 PM
Hi I am having a problem with getting my horse to open gates he just won't stand still sometimes and then naps like mad spins around and tries running backwards.
Any tips would be great I nearly lost my nerve today as he spun around and went into a peat bog luckily not a deep one all because he wouldn't stand still to open gate.
Thanks guys I felt like crying through frustration and obviously worried about him hurting himself.
20th Apr 2010, 05:53 AM
Well, funny you should post that - mine got nappy a few weeks back. He's ok again now so can only put it down to general springiness and change in the season.
I did think to myself it may be the saddle/girth and checked it anyway and because he'd changed shape a little the saddle had started to bridge. I'm having it reflocked this week. I've gone back to hacking out with my soft dressage saddle and all seems well since.
20th Apr 2010, 07:20 AM
maybe hes nappy/panicking because he doesnt understand what you are asking of him. I would practise doing gates with you on the ground first and reward him for doing it (using treats for this works well for my mares).
I did some gate practise with my mare yesterday. We used the school gate and i was teaching her to 'push' on command, when she leant on the gate and it pushed i rewarded her with a treat. She cottoned on very quickly. i will continue this until shes doing it all the way without stopping and then i will get on and do it on her back.
is he good at standing still generally on hacks? it could be that you need to practise getting him to wait and stand patiently generally and then ask him to do that next to a gate.
also what type of gate is it? does it make a loud noise/have a nasty quick swing back?
20th Apr 2010, 08:13 AM
Opening a gate is pretty tricky :D It involves quite a lot of different skills, and if they're not in place then it won't be easy. As has already been said I'd make sure that the gate itself wasn't causing a problem either by doing some dismounted work.
You need to be able to stand still, back up, move sideways and go forward one step at a time on command. Working on all of those away from the gate will make what you do when you actually get to it that much easier - it'll also have knock on benefits in other situations too :)
20th Apr 2010, 08:15 AM
Thanks for your replies he is getting there with the standing still but he does have a problem with it he had been taught to walk off when mounting as in Spain they tend to get on like jockeys do in the parade ring they have so many to ride at the big studs I think that may be why not good for what I want though I have now taught him to stand at the mounting block took a while but we are getting there so maybe like you say he needs to learn to be patient and to stand etc.
The gate on the hack has no handle so you really have to lean over him it doesn't swing back its just hard to push:o
I will work on that in the menage the menage gate is also a nightmare might have to build one like those in le trec:)
Hopefully he will begin to understand what I want then I can work on it on hacks as he becomes more confident.
20th Apr 2010, 08:34 AM
I have the same problem with my Trakehner.
I think half the problem is he doesn't quite understand what I am trying to do and the other is that if the gate opens towards him, he thinks it's going to gobble him up :D
Also, he hates standing still.
20th Apr 2010, 10:11 AM
What do you do if your horse hates standing still? Sorry - don't want to hijack thread but just interested to see a few people whose horses don't like standing still and wondered how you got round that?
I too would recommend working on it in the school and then maybe doing the 'real' one in hand a few times. Good luck - its horrible when they mess about like that.
20th Apr 2010, 10:34 AM
Maybe clicker training could help with both problems?
20th Apr 2010, 03:30 PM
my horse wouldnt stand still at all...i went down the clicker training route. now she stands wonderfully at the mounting block and out hacking (as long as theres a treat occassionally for her to remind her its a positive thing!) my RI finds it hilarious, but realises its helped her loads with her patience!
20th Apr 2010, 04:30 PM
We dont do gates conventionally but we do get through and Rosie tries her absolute damnest to understand what I want. How do we do it? She gets a treat every time we get through - even now we've mastered it!
Break it down into tiny pieces and reward each part as you teach it - then put them together. Even if you start standing reasonably still 10 ft away at least its a first step :D Either that or get very good at mounting from the ground and get off!!!
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