Working the Gate

I’m new at this blogging so it may take me awhile to smooth it out.

Working a gate off of your horse is a handy tool. The few winters that I rode in JR Simplot’s feedlot at Grandview Idaho, working a gate from the back of a horse was essential as checking pens was a timed event. I’m not sure what year this picture was taken but the horse I’m on is Ezzie and she was born in 2005. She’s at least 2 if not 3 so 2007 or 08.

It’s unusual for me to be riding with a running martingale so I’m unsure why I’m using one here. Must have been a reason but I can’t remember what it was.

My position here is what I call reverse as the horse is going to back through the gate for me and my hand will never leave the gate. Or at leas that’s the plan.

july 24 2007 219 - CopyI’m Missing a photo here as I would have started with the horse next to the gate and not a foot out with the gate in motion. As you can see the horse is moving away from the gate on my cue but at a certain point she also starts to move back and her hips don’t continue to side pass away from the gate but the rear end starts to curl around the gate as the shoulders continue to give the gate some space. Her head is down and she’s paying attention to the gate as well as me. She’s nicely between my legs and is not pulling on me or fussing about being too close to the gate or what I am asking in regards to the gate.july 24 2007 220Still in motion without a lot of change from the previous photo.july 24 2007 221You can start to see the ‘curl’ as I call it as I swing the gate open a tad more to allow her room to back through. Her front end has moved out a bit more and will continue to give the gate enough room to clear her as she swings her rump through the gate.july 24 2007 222Still in motion. july 24 2007 223Possibly missing at least one photo if not two but  you can see where I have backed my mare through the gate and am now closing it as she holds position for me and moves to the right. In reference to ‘holding position for me’ she is holding the same distance from the gate for me throughout the maneuver.july 24 2007 224Still in motion.july 24 2007 225One more step.july 24 2007 226And another.july 24 2007 227And another.july 24 2007 228And antoherjuly 24 2007 229And done. I could have deleted a couple of these last few photo’s but decided to leave them and hopefully make a good point; never be in a hurry when you are a teaching a young horse anything. If it is a timed event you may pressure the colt too much and create a problem rather than teach a useful skill. Way too often I have seen that ‘too much’ is a problem when stopping at a timely spot is very beneficial. So what if it wasn’t perfect in your eyes or mind, there is always tomorrow and starting fresh  is better than ending on a sour note. With colts especially 2 year old’s too little is better than too much.

The young man in the background is Kamron my youngest son; he’s holding my grandson Eli. Kamron along with his brother Kole rode a lot  of colts for us a teenagers. The good horses we ride as a family today are a credit to my two son’s putting a lot of rides on them.

One final note, if you want to ride forward through the gate it is all basically the same. Forward  or reverse is dictated by whats around the gate and the position of the gate in relation to the pens.july 24 2007 230

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