I am starting a new job as a stable hand and am concerned about some dangerous behavior that 4 of the horses have around gates during turn in time. There are 4 in one very small paddock (about the size of a a dressage ring) that get extremely fiesty and excited when they know it’s time to come in. Crowding the gate, pushing, biting, kicking, and recently I’ve been told about some rearing. I have encountered these problems before individually, but never all at once, and certainly not at a gate. The gate opens in towards the paddock. These 4 horses are the only ones like this at the stable and sometimes have days where they are all great at the gate.
The girl who works there now just toughs it out and gets in the middle of it while leading one horse out and quickly closing the gate behind her before the others can push through. There are two other staff who seem to have no problems, or are at least confident that they can handle it, but I have heard about these 4 horses pushing through the gate and getting loose, or dragging staff around. I used to be confident with these things but have a greater fear of injury now that I’m not a teenager. I worked at a stable for 3 summers a few years ago.
My question is:
Is this an issue of the horses being dangerous, or is it an issue of me being inexperienced? And what should be done?