I am guilty MiLud.
I have bought and keep in my pocket horse biscuits - you know those bikky things the size of a sugar cube. Everytime I go up to the stables there will be a couple in my pocket. As I get to the stable door, my mare will come over and give me a little nudge.
"Where's me biscuit?" she communicates.
"You are not supposed to have one. They are fattening" I reply.
"Go on, just one" she says.
"No I am told they are bad. Very bad". "Anyway it is cheating"
"Well I only want one. I'll be very good" With that I get another nudge this time a bit harder.
So what do I do: I reach down in my pocket and bring out a tiny biscuit which she licks off my hand.
Then I get another nudge - guess why!
Now the vet nags me and says the biscuit is 50% fat. The horse dentist nags me because he says there might be sugar in the biscuit. The wife nags because she says I am spoiling the horse. The other women up at the livery yard nag because they say I am being a bad example.
And the mare nags because she says she doesn't get enough biscuits.
But I have noticed one thing. Every time I turn up, the mare comes over to the stable door and stands there until I get close, when she'll give me a nudge. If she is down in the field, she'll always stand still and let me affix the head collar. But I have to give her the biscuit as I reach up over her head.
The nudge is very much a sign of positive communication. To my horse I smell of a biscuit.
Now of course there is one other aspect to all this. I get pleasure from giving my horse a tiny biscuit. It is a 'thank you' for being good to me. So if giving her one makes her happy and is at the same time a reward for doing well what I have asked of her - then I am going to keep on doing it.
And the nagging will continue too. "Guilty Milud - as charged".