Originally Posted by ~*~anebel~*~
I always stroke my horse's neck and pet him to reward him. It also releases the contact which helps his neck build muscle and teaches him to stay collected on my seat.
I got told off by a clinician once for patting my horse she said something to the effect of "you can do that in the barn, just praise him with your voice" and I was very close to telling her to shove it. I just ignored it lol. It makes him more confident and it's his normal reward. He does relax when I pet him.
My trainer always made fun of me because I would pat Ri after each class. She said I was slapping him so loud you could hear it across the ring and then I read in a John Lyons book that you shouldn't pat becuase it's more like a smack, but you should rub (or stroke) so that is what I've been doing....