Too Many Treats? - Page 3

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Too Many Treats?

This is a discussion on Too Many Treats? within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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    11-18-2008, 12:26 AM
Originally Posted by Tazmanian Devil    
I find these two comments an interesting contradiction. You claim to be a huge treat giver. Yet you don't think you will go so far as to offer treats at mealtime? Mealtime is the time for food/eating... that's a more logical time to dispense food! :)

I think a treat helps them understand that they did something good besides saying 'good horse' and giving them a pat. If you use them for like teaching them tricks or something like that. And I think that there are some are us that just like to spoil our horses. Some like to give them a warm bran mash, others prefer just spending extra time on them, and others like to give treats.

What I mean that I wouldn't give them treats at meal time is that I wouldn't feed them treats all day and then pop a few more in their food bucket. I usually only give treats like I said above, for tricks or stretching excerises, and occassionally while I'm grooming. I feel they have to 'earn' the treat somehow. Not just getting one as part as their meal.

Originally Posted by Tazmanian Devil    
If that's your thing, then fine (as long as you realize the potential of creating a mouthy/biting horse by hand-feeding).
IMO, I think it depends on the horse on the mouthy/biting part. Like someone said earlier, usually a more dominant horse will do this. Even though my otsb is annoyed that I won't give a treat every five seconds, when he does stand still and when he does act calmy I will let him have a treat and he will gently take the treat from my hand. He's never snatchy about it.

Originally Posted by Tazmanian Devil    
To the horse, it is all "food."
IMO, I think a horse can tell the difference between treats, hay, grass, and grain. Every horse I've met would gladly leave their hay, grass, grain to have a carrot, treat, apple, etc. I know if I ever tried to feed Athena hay instead of a treat for when she smiles whe wouldn't take it.

Originally Posted by Tazmanian Devil    
As with most things, YMMV.
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    11-18-2008, 09:56 AM
It definitely depends on the horse, I give my mare treats all the time, for no reason whatsoever, and she is never snappy, never pushy, never demands them. So I don't think there's a definite rule for this one.
    11-18-2008, 10:40 PM
Originally Posted by whitetrashwarmblood    
Originally Posted by tazmanian devil
As with most things, YMMV.

YMMV=Your Mileage May Vary. What I mean is that each horse and rider/owner are different. When it comes to treats, each has their own preference. It all comes down to whatever works for you. In other words, YMMV. :)
    11-21-2008, 02:33 PM
Personally I don't really believe in giving food treats. Horses are prey animals, they naturally graze for large periods of time. For predators the catch (food) is the reward for there efforts (the hunt). Unlike predators (humans) food is not a reward for them it is just what they eat. A real reward for a horse is leadership and safety So I really don't think that its worth all the trouble.
    11-21-2008, 02:47 PM

I know a man that trains racehorses and boards over a hundered of them and he NEVER EVER NEVER NEVER gives them treats or feeds them outta his hands b/c of something that happened a long time ago...the horses that he can't use for racing anymore, he just gives them away to loving homes and he gave this one racehorse to a young girl....the girl always went out to the field to give her horses treats and on this one particular day everything went wrong, she went out to the field and walked through the gate with peppermint treats.......the horses came galloping to her and they trampled her and now she's paralyzed for's really sad.....One day the vet came out and saw me give my 5 month old a treat and he was like "you know you're not supposed to give young horses treats right" he said it was b/c they'll learn to be really pushy and they'll always expect a treat no matter what or where they are and they'll just flat out run you over for one. Also too many treats can possible cause founder depending on how much the horse gets in grain and how much hay and grass consumption and all of that he eats a day.....I personally wouldn't give my horse treats but my mom insists on I really can't help that they get any...but a treat now and then is fine but if it gets too outta hand where the horse is being pushy or nippy, then one way you can stop them from doing that is to rub their face really hard and they'll get irritated by it and they'll leave you alone until they do it again, and you just keep repeating it until they learn every time they get in your space they're going to be irritated by getting their face rubbed in an unpleasing manner...tha's just one way you can keep them from being pushy or trying to bite you without you making them headshy :)
    11-21-2008, 03:34 PM
I give my horse Nisse a treat when he has been a "good boy". But it is just an applebit or a carrot or some bread. He likes to do things his own way, so when he listens to me all the time, he get a treat. But just sometimes when he is really good^^

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