Working Equitation Gate

One of the Working Equitation obstacles that may be included during the Ease of Handling and/or Speed trials is the Gate.

Horse and rider opening a Working Equitation gateEase of Handling gate obstacle at Working Equitation show








To perform this obstacle, the horse and rider approach perpendicularly to the gate, transition to walk, and open and close the gate. During this maneuver, the rider maintains contact with the gate the entire time, except as needed to make slight adjustments.


The gate must be at least 1.3 meters (4 feet 3 inches) high and 2 meters (6.5 feet) wide, supported by two weighted posts (or jump standards) and two hinges. A latch easily operated from horseback should be used. The gate can be opened to the right or left depending on how the obstacle is set in the course. A rope between two posts can be used instead of a solid gate.

A solid gate is preferred for Ease of Handling and is required in ‘A’ rated and championship competitions; a rope gate should be used for Speed.  

Working Equitation horse and rider opening a gate.Haflinger horse opening a Working Equitation gat

Execution – The rider will approach perpendicular to the gate at the prescribed gait for the level and transition to the walk as he/she approaches the gate. The rider then moves the horse laterally and halts alongside the gate. The rider must lift the latch, open the gate, and go through the entrance. When the horse has fully passed to the other side of the gate, the rider may back up one or two steps to close the gate. With the horse squarely halted, the rider will then put the latch in place to complete the obstacle. The rider should not release control of the gate at any point in the performance of this exercise until the gate is latched. The obstacle may be required in both directions providing there is at least one obstacle in between the first and second execution.

For complete details about this obstacle and its requirements, reference the U.S. Working Equitation Rules, here.