Through the Gate
Almost from the first day of training in the pen I attempt to ride my colts through the gate. My first attempts are usually futile. I wind up getting off to open the gate from the ground. But some horses figure out what I’m trying to do and cooperate even before they learn all the cues for the movements required. The problem is they won’t do it consistently, especially when they are not motivated-for instance if they generally desire to go out but not in. This time Johnny is successful, but mainly because I have long arms and Johnny wanted to go out. Also you can see me thumping away with my legs. This is a bad precedence. After awhile too much thumping like this would make him dull to leg cues. He did back up a couple of steps, but this is unusual at his level of training. Normally a colt does not feel comfortable backing in such a confined space.
Molly, on the other hand, has built a foundation. Dina-mite generally knows the cues so the exercise is not quite so dependent on the filly’s benevolence. Consequently the exercise proceeds smoother and with more consistency.