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We opened a gate today.
A bit rocky and I did not keep my hands on the gate the whole time but we did manage to get it open, get through it and get it closed. I couldn't get my hand around far enough to relatch it but we'll work on that.

You could tell she was a bit confused by what I wanted her to do but she kept at it and never once got flustered.
I like to hear about the "little successes". Most horse training is a succession of little successes building on each other.

Congratulations of the successful gate maneuver
Hook(ed)......on Horses

"The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils, light in your eyes, flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life. " Author: Robert Louis Stevenson
Good job! We're still working on getting Max's sidepass better. I've found it takes a pretty confident sidepass to get him to move toward the gate rather than away from it.
Keep up the good work.
"You learn a thing a day, you store up smart" - Festus Haggen

"A man’s soul can’t be hidden,
From the creatures in his care." -
Hard Candy Cowboy by Debra Meyer

She was OK with getting very close to the gate but I realize now that she's relying on my two handed rein cues for the sidepass instead of my leg cues. I can't hold the gate and use two hands on the reins so we need to do a bit more schooling on that.
What exactly are the cues for a sidepass?
Lateral movement is an area Joe and I have not ventured into, welllll I tried and Joe said "hunh" and I said "Okay I don't know what I am doing either!"
Is a sidepass something we 'graduate to' after learning other lateral moves?

Well, I certainly am no training expert, but I'll tell you how I have been working on it. First, yes, I think the sidepass would come after learning/teaching to separate both the front quarters and the hind quarters. You need to be able to move the hind quarters over with leg pressure slightly back and move the front quarters with leg pressure slightly forward. Then start to put them together to get the sidepass. Here's how I started out: Assume you are going to sidepass to the right, for example. To make it easier for the horse, start by facing him to the rail so he won't want to go forward. Then, turn your head to look to the right where you are going, open the right rein, apply neck pressure with the left rein to push him over, sit deep on the left hip. Then get him to start moving the front and hind to the right, one at a time. As he gets onto this, start moving your leg cues closer together so as to get both the front and hind to step sideways at the same time. Take it slow and easy, one piece at a time, then put the pieces together. After he gets this, then move off the rail and support him with the reins to keep him from moving forward. If you do too much, though, and he starts to back, you'll have to cue him forward a little. It's all about giving him just the right amount of pressure so he moves but doesn't overdo it.
Like I said, I'm no expert, so if anyone can improve on this description, please do so.
"You learn a thing a day, you store up smart" - Festus Haggen

"A man’s soul can’t be hidden,
From the creatures in his care." -
Hard Candy Cowboy by Debra Meyer

Hmeyer - you did a really good job of explaining it.

If a horse has never had any lateral work, it is sometimes helpful to have them walking along the fence, and then ask for a few steps of putting their shoulder to the inside and then a few steps of hips to the inside. With the moving forward, and only doing a few steps at a time it seems to make it easier while the horse is learning.

Also, sometimes it helps to teach a turn on the forehand and then a turn on the behind before the sidepass.

Each horse is different, so play with it and do what works best for your horse. Just don't rush it, it is difficult to do.

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