I have a 13-year old registered Paint who is just awesome. The farm where I board him had a large outdoor arena where I often work him. Recently he’s developed the habit of refusing to walk through the gate into the arena (while I’m riding). Sometimes he goes through just fine, and other times he plants his front feet, backs up sideways and pins my leg against the arena gate (not enough to hurt me, but enough to prevent me from using it at all). Since this doesn’t happen all of the time, I believe it’s an attitude thing. I’ve tried several different tactics with not much success. Any ideas on how to handle this? Thank you!
Reannon, This is a simple fix. You need to go back to basics and teach him how to sidepass properly. Take him in the arena and get him to sidepass, and two track off of your legs in both directions. Make sure you spend a lot of time getting him to respond with just a little bit of pressure from your legs. Make sure that he is even off both sides from pressure. Then take him back to the gate and make him work it using the same methods that you used earlier. If he still is resistant, then a good smack on the butt with the bridle reins can do wonders.