At some point or other, almost all horses develop a magnet to the arena gate. To deter your horse from hanging out at the gate, make being next to the gate feel uncomfortable to him. Right now, your horse is attracted to the gate because he knows that’s how he gets out of the arena and back to the barn.
One way I like to erase a horse’s magnet with the gate is by doing rollbacks next to the gate.
- Canter a 50-foot circle next to the gate. When you reach the gate, stop the horse and then shape him for the rollback by tipping his nose toward the gate.
- Then press your outside leg up near his shoulder to roll him back.
- Hustle the horse out of the turn and onto the circle. When you reach the gate, roll back again.
- Continue to do rollbacks next to the gate for several minutes, and then ride the horse to the opposite end of the arena and let him rest. It won’t take long for the horse to realize that the arena gate is not going to get him the rest and escape from work that he thought it would.