I grew up with gorse, and though yes, it's pokey, picky and unpleasant to try to move through quickly (especially if it grows thickly as it does on the cliffs of the island of my birth) part of the selective pressures making the resinous outer coating and the sharp spine-like leaves such an advantage is that the actual tissue of gorse is both liquid and nutrient rich... had it not those defences, it would get decimated by any grazers in its locale.
Which is why goats do very well with it - their mouths are tougher than many other ungulates, so they just... chomp right on through. Admittedly, even they have to be somewhat careful, but they eat gorse and sloe bushes too, which are equally hardy and even pokier!
That said, you should research specific species of gorse for your chosen conditions, as the one I'm the most familiar with (Ulex Europeaus) wouldn't do well on a higher than Tibetan plateau - though it would handle the inherent drought conditions well, and the bright sunlight, and gravelly nutritionally-poor soil as well, it doesn't handle harsh cold winters well - this is intrinsic to many plants which retain moisture via resinous coverings - they can't afford to freeze as there's just so much cell damage done when the plant's tissues retain that much water.
Sloe - Blackthorn bush
Hope this helps