Opening Gates Horseback

In Working Equitation Opening the Gate from horseback is performed in Level 2 and up.

Opening gates from horseback is a challenge that all  seasoned ranch horses  and many  trail horses already understand,  but the Dressage mount may need to learn.   Fear not, it is easy!  And when done well the gate will be performed with very little evidence of the aids given to the horse.

As with many of the obstacles in Working Equitation,  the gate can be a challenge for the horse who gets “high” with the canter; as the gate needs to be performed calmly and with  finesse.  If you possess a horse of this type it is important that they are comfortable and behave well during the execution of this obstacle.  See “Master the Rope Gate” for training ideas.

Gates may be solid such as wood or pipe or be simulated using a rope.  Temporary rope  gates are often used in clinics and at competitions and are frequently made using jump standards to hold the rope.

Construction Details and Dimensions

  • The top of the gate is at least 4 ft high
  • The opening is at least 6 ft 6 inches between the posts.
  • If a rope is used it should have minimal sag.
Leslie Martien photos, Haras Cup 2014



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