Exactly..... My horse didn't really understand the whole praise thing when you patted him. He soon understood it when their was food involved!!!! If you don't want to put the food into a bucket, put your treat into the "cup" of 1 of your hands. Something small and not too much. He'll soon realize that the cup motion, probably means theirs food or some kind of reward. As said before, this becomes second nature. Some people don't want to use your hands, just get a bucket. I perfer hands though.