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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug. 20, 2003
    Posts
    51

    Default Randomly Leaving Starting Gate

    Okay, any suggestions for a three year old that decides to leave the starting gate sometimes and other times decides to just stand still while the others are well on their way. It's so random with this fella and he is on the verge of being banned. He loads well, is not nervous at all in the paddock nor on post parade. It's like sometimes he just has a blonde moment and when the gate springs open he doesn't realize what he is there for even after the jock whacks him a good three or four times in the gate, and the gate crew is doing the same. He'll finally walk out and then says ....Oh!!!!... and off he goes.... yet other times he's out of the gate on top. He has tons of speed and showed tons of talent as a 2 year old, even the track handicapper says this horse has 'Moments of Brilliance' if only he could get over this starting gate issue. Suggestions please!! We have tried many, many things but perhaps someone has a new idea!!!!!!!! Can you spell ...FRUSTRATING!!!!!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec. 5, 2004
    Location
    Lexington, KY
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    1,244

    Default

    Send him to a bush track in LA for a month.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2003
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    Ocala, FL
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    Default

    Can you get him to a training track where he can be worked at the gate daily? That is a crappy problem to have. Maybe check with some of the gate crews that are known to be really forward-thinking in their approach (some are still the old push and whip types). Wish I had more to offer...



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2007
    Location
    Down on the Farm
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    3,058

    Default

    Cattle prod....



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2006
    Posts
    4,588

    Default

    Happens to some pretty damn good horses.
    Dual Oaks winner and multiple G1 winner Sariska was retired last year after she refused to leave the gate in two succesive races.... check out this video of the Yorkshire Oaks G1, if you watch the post race coverage in that video you'll see Jaime Spencer walk her out of the gate, hops off, pats her on the neck and lets her eat some grass



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov. 12, 2006
    Posts
    1,070

    Default

    Wow, that was really odd with Sariska.

    She looked dead relaxed about the whole thing, if not quite pleased with herself. But she wasn't going to budge, period. No signs of being upset whatsoever.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun. 28, 1999
    Location
    Minnesota
    Posts
    1,288

    Default

    That was an amazing example of a horse not leaving the starting gate and what a great jockey.

    I hope the cattle prod was a bad joke.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug. 11, 2007
    Location
    maryland
    Posts
    276

    Default hmmmm

    new job?



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar. 10, 2006
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    4,588

    Default

    Arctic Maiden just won the 4:05 at Nottingham, very easily, cantered home. She refused to come out of the gate at Windsor last week. Seems to have changed her tune in a short space of time! I wonder if she's related to the horse in the OP?



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2003
    Location
    Ocala, FL
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    1,931

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wookie View Post
    new job?
    It may come to that, but if your horse had a training issue, would you change disciplines? Not being sarcastic here, just saying that all horses have training issues occasionally, and changing their job CAN be an option, but the issue does not necessarily mean that they are not suited for a certain job.

    The horse may just need more training, or possibly some freshening up. Being that it's a first time starter, that is probably not the issue...



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep. 9, 2008
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    In A World Called Catastrophe
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    1,789

    Default

    buggy whip Baffert style



  12. #12
    Join Date
    May. 4, 2006
    Location
    Seabeck - the soggy peninsula
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    4,103

    Default

    I thought Baffert was a celebrity style bufffoon, now I have to add idiot abuser to the roster. Buggy whips out of the gate? I hope he just cracks it and does not actually apply it. I suppose gate crews have to look the other way when the "big shots" use their superior training skills. omg.

    Have you tried having her looked at by someone successful with hind end issues to see if she is impinging on a nerve or her pelvic is a tad rotated so that the sciatic nerve may be impacted? That could exhibit as sporadic if she has some residual muscle tightness or soreness. It is worth a look anyway. A very good massage therapist should have the necessary knowledge.

    The only horse I ever was affiliated with that stood in the gate never did well. Sometimes it takes a very, very astute eye to see if something is amiss physically. Has she ever banged her hip to your knowledge?

    At other times it is just that they have this theory "in one hundred years, will this really matter"?
    "When written in Chinese, the word "crisis" is composed of two characters, one represents danger, the other represents opportunity."

    John F Kennedy



  13. #13
    Join Date
    May. 18, 2006
    Location
    Newark, DE
    Posts
    161

    Default

    I'm pretty sure every set of gates I've ever been to have had a "buggy whip" very handy in the event of a horse not wanting to load...not all horses need it, but it's there if needed. I've also never had any problem with a gate hand giving a baby learning to break a swift smack on the ass with a strap or something as the gates open for reinforcement.

    Maybe try loading him at last and making sure he's got his mind on business? If he's standing in the gates too long he may just have ADD if he has time for his mind to wander.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jan. 30, 2007
    Posts
    3,166

    Default

    If you can find an exercise rider or jockey who has raced on QH tracks, they are masters at hustling a horse out of the gate. If you blow the start, you are done... so definitely worth asking around!
    Dee
    Founder of the I LOFF my worrywart TB clique!
    Official member of the "I Sing Silly Songs to My Animals!" Clique
    http://wilddiamondintherough.blogspot.ca/



  15. #15
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    Sep. 9, 2008
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    In A World Called Catastrophe
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    Quote Originally Posted by Calamber View Post
    I thought Baffert was a celebrity style bufffoon, now I have to add idiot abuser to the roster. Buggy whips out of the gate? I hope he just cracks it and does not actually apply it. I suppose gate crews have to look the other way when the "big shots" use their superior training skills. omg.

    Have you tried having her looked at by someone successful with hind end issues to see if she is impinging on a nerve or her pelvic is a tad rotated so that the sciatic nerve may be impacted? That could exhibit as sporadic if she has some residual muscle tightness or soreness. It is worth a look anyway. A very good massage therapist should have the necessary knowledge.

    The only horse I ever was affiliated with that stood in the gate never did well. Sometimes it takes a very, very astute eye to see if something is amiss physically. Has she ever banged her hip to your knowledge?

    At other times it is just that they have this theory "in one hundred years, will this really matter"?


    Baffert does what he does. His horses are gate schooled with Bunsy (jimmy Burns) behind the gate with a buggy whip. Horses get cracked in the heels with some regularity. So??? How is that wrong? I was on a filly this week that I needed to get caught up to her peers, I had them spank her out 2x before they popped the latch. She leaves willingly. Boom, she is caught up to her peers.
    A whip to the heels or a leather shank to the butt isn't any worse than spurs.
    Pick a smarter battle



  16. #16
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    Feb. 13, 2007
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    Default

    ^Amen to that!



  17. #17
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    May. 4, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blinkers On View Post
    Baffert does what he does. His horses are gate schooled with Bunsy (jimmy Burns) behind the gate with a buggy whip. Horses get cracked in the heels with some regularity. So??? How is that wrong? I was on a filly this week that I needed to get caught up to her peers, I had them spank her out 2x before they popped the latch. She leaves willingly. Boom, she is caught up to her peers.
    A whip to the heels or a leather shank to the butt isn't any worse than spurs.
    Pick a smarter battle
    Or pick a smartet/better trainer. If you need to crack a horse in the heels, or across the butt with a leather strap, whip, purse whatever, you need some help understanding horses. Sooner or later with this kind of "assistance" they will blow. BO, I don't know but that whatever I said you would disagree with, primarily though, celebrities and the way they "do" horses is the reason racing is like it is with the hangers on and applauders right behind em all the way bobbing their heads in excitement at all that dough. BTW, I don't use spurs either.

    The very best gate crew I have ever seen work was at Laurel, and the older gentleman running the show was the very best horseman at a gate I have ever seen work with horses. He would not allow whips at the gate. That is a horseman. He took a horse who had been frightened enough at Charles Town by ham handlers that he reared and unseated his rider behind the gate and ran off prior to a race. He had to be schooled again before being allowed to start of couse so my friend and I took him to Laurel to be schooled because she knew that he could cure him in about 15 minutes, which he did. Kindness in the face of fear. Brutes use force, humans use tact and finesse. You do have to be of that kind of mind to understand that it is always a better way. Not airy fairy NH bullshit, just genuine horsemanship.
    "When written in Chinese, the word "crisis" is composed of two characters, one represents danger, the other represents opportunity."

    John F Kennedy



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2011
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    Just west of BFE
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    4,860

    Default

    The Maryland gate crew rocks! I used to go an hour out of my way to get to Bowie in the winter to gate school. Laurel was a little closer, but Bowie had, IMO, the best winter surface. The only time my horses saw the gate at Charlestown was when they ran.
    From AliCat518 "Seriously, why would you NOT put fried chicken in your purse?!"



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2007
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    Down on the Farm
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    Default

    I galloped and rode races in Maryland, plenty of trainers used buggy whips, and so did the gate crew. I worked on the Md tracks for 25 yrs from the mid 80's to 2007.

    In fact, had a bad actor in the gate (leading trainer had him at the time), he wouldnt always freak out, it would be totally random. After he broke a jocks hand in the gate we decided to mimick the races.

    After training was over, he was led over to the paddock, saddled, I got on and was ponied to the gate to break him. He was a perfect gentleman.

    The gate crews plan for the next schooling session was to use the blanket and pads, I was to pony him over. They picked and picked at him while he was standing to get a reaction and he finally did blow. They literally horrified this horse untill he was under the gate...I finally said enough was enough and to get the damn horse out of there and give him back to me. I was trying to let them do their job untill it got to dangerous for the horse.

    Now I'm not bashing the Md gate crew, they kept my butt safe for many yrs, but they will do what they feel they need to do to school a horse period. I've seen it done over the years with several starters. I really dont see the difference between whacking one with a buggy whip to get them out of the gate, or being hit repeatedly by a jock that can really weild a stick.

    Clamber, just curious as to how many horses you have schooled breaking out of the gate, and have you ever been on one that would break? Or even the number of horses you have trained?



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec. 5, 2004
    Location
    Lexington, KY
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    1,244

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Calamber View Post
    Or pick a smartet/better trainer. If you need to crack a horse in the heels, or across the butt with a leather strap, whip, purse whatever, you need some help understanding horses. Sooner or later with this kind of "assistance" they will blow. BO, I don't know but that whatever I said you would disagree with, primarily though, celebrities and the way they "do" horses is the reason racing is like it is with the hangers on and applauders right behind em all the way bobbing their heads in excitement at all that dough. BTW, I don't use spurs either.

    The very best gate crew I have ever seen work was at Laurel, and the older gentleman running the show was the very best horseman at a gate I have ever seen work with horses. He would not allow whips at the gate. That is a horseman. He took a horse who had been frightened enough at Charles Town by ham handlers that he reared and unseated his rider behind the gate and ran off prior to a race. He had to be schooled again before being allowed to start of couse so my friend and I took him to Laurel to be schooled because she knew that he could cure him in about 15 minutes, which he did. Kindness in the face of fear. Brutes use force, humans use tact and finesse. You do have to be of that kind of mind to understand that it is always a better way. Not airy fairy NH bullshit, just genuine horsemanship.
    Why such a problem with a whack at the gate to teach a horse to leave quicker? These are racehorses...they get hit with a whip the whole way down the stretch to run faster! Obviously you can't be abusive or they will flip out, but a flick with a buggy whip across the heels or smack with a shank when they stand there instead of leaving is not a big deal. Frightened horses are different, of course you don't use whips with them, but this thread is about a horse that doesn't budge out of the gate.

    I am laughing at the image of the gate crew using a purse though!



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