Posted 2016-02-08 10:22 AM (#7244286) Subject: Need advice on barrel horse refusing the gate
I have a 9 year old mare that I have been running for almost 3 years. She is a completely finished barrel horse that runs consistently in the 2d. About 8 months ago she started refusing the gate. I admit that at first I didn't realize that there might be a problem and contributed her bad behavior to being her attitude. Her performance on the pattern never changed, but after reviewing her videos, it was evident that she was not engaging her hindquarters as she had been previously. So... after visits to my vet, a change in farriers, hock injections, Legend injections, several chiropractic visits and 5 months off, she now has a clean bill of health and feels better than ever. For the last 3 months, I have been legging her up on the water treadmill and on trail rides. Because she is completely patterned I do not practice the pattern unless its just walking/trotting through. Well, last weekend we entered our first race back. She refused the gate, spun around, balked and backed up. After being led in with horses and such we made a smoking run. I have rodeos coming up that I feel I shouldn't enter for fear that she will refuse and I will be called out due to time getting into the arena. So, how do I get her realize that she no longer hurts and re-train her to walk through the gate in an appropriate manner? I should add that although she is a fairly lazy horse, she is very sensitive emotionally. I don't use spurs on her, I rarely whip her and only compete on her 2-3 times per month.