Treat training horses.What are peoples opinions / thoughts. - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 97 Old 01-27-2013, 01:20 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Newfie View Post
Traditional pressure and release did work.I found my horses to be more engaged and willing with treat training..That is my own personal experience.I would also like to point out [again] that treat training has been used by the Spanish riding school for over 440 yrs.So with their horses trained in haute ecole,they must be doing something right.I am not saying anything against traditional training methods.But 440 yrs is pretty traditional as well.
Check out some training vids by Eva Roemaat,klaus Hempfling. B&F horsemanship [austria] Chappysmom on youtube better demonstrates treat training more than I can explain.There are many trainers who use treats as a positive reinforcement.
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post #12 of 97 Old 01-27-2013, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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For the record, before this turns argumentative, I am not suggesting that treat training is better.It is just an alternative .I have nothing against the more traditional "cowboyish" training and still use it in combination with other typese of of which is treat reward.
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post #13 of 97 Old 01-27-2013, 01:45 PM
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I don't like treat training. Never have, never will. I don't want my horses to rely on treats for a reward. a reassuring pat on the neck should be reward enough. I don't like them reaching for a treat everytime they do something good. But that's MO, I don't trick train, I always use just a pat on the neck or a kind word. and its always worked for me.
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post #14 of 97 Old 01-27-2013, 01:51 PM
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I am not trying to be argumentative. I am genuinely trying to ask what it adds that release of pressure and a reassuring pat does not give one.

I can see the Haute Ecole part as that is much like 'trick training' in teaching horses to do very unnatural things. The aires above the ground could just as readily called tricks above the ground. But regular things like moving over or back, I would like to see what improves with treats. I am just curious.

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post #15 of 97 Old 01-27-2013, 01:56 PM
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I think all training falls on the same realm of science. Treats or a pat are all positive reward given for positive behavior. Its all classical conditioning in which the animal (including humans) learns that a given behavior results in something pleasant often a pressure release and thus seeks to repeat that behavior.

I think there are certain horses that food rewards work really well for and there are other horses where its not a great idea. That said like any other technique it has advantages and disadvantages. I think its silly for me to say I will never use that technique or this technique when I may find a horse in 3 years that does best under that training technique. Its all about finding what works for you and your horse. Getting a good, safe horse is the end goal and that can be achieved in many different ways.
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post #16 of 97 Old 01-27-2013, 02:00 PM
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Cherie I found treats made my horse back up quicker and with less resistance. I tried conventional pressure on the bit, I tried pressure on the chest and my horse would back. I pulled out a treat and he started offering multiple steps back with just a single flick of my finger. It made a huge change in his attitude. It was like this horse suddenly got what I was asking for and was doing it with an attitude that was less resistant. Before using a treat he would back with his nose up in the air, with a treat he had his head nice and low. I have another horse, who was unable to focus on what I asked he was/is to busy looking for a treat. So for one horse it worked really well and the other it did not so I am using more "conventional' methods with the other horse.
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post #17 of 97 Old 01-27-2013, 02:06 PM
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Treats are easier.
What I mean is, sometimes, especially when starting out, a person doesn't actually know what "release" is; and even if he/she does, the timing is off. The horse gets a mighty slap on the neck; or you yell, "Whoohoo! You did it!" while still keeping the reins taut.

When you give a treat, you usally "let go" right away, all pressure is off as you scrounge for that cookie. It soon happens (in my own case) that the release is BEFORE the treat: "Good girl" as I dig in my pocket: that's the release. The cookie part is now just a distraction, but we like it.

I hardly use treats now while schooling. "Good girl" is quite enough. But I do use them to teach "tricks" which I'll later fit into regular schooling. Backing was once a trick for us.
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post #18 of 97 Old 01-27-2013, 03:02 PM
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Don't use, won't use. Like Cherie, I have never had trouble getting horse to do things without them.

And seen way too many horses spoiled by well meaning owners to think it is good idea.

Same thing as if my trainer had to feed me breakfast before I showed up each morning. When time to do something, it needs to be done and not dependent on treats.

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post #19 of 97 Old 01-27-2013, 03:27 PM
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I like using treats to train but I also use a sound to mark the behavior. Once I make the sound, we stop what we are doing immediately too, which is also a reward. I use it now when I am riding in the arena teaching a new command. I find it helps my horse know when she did what I was asking for at the moment she does it. I fade the treat out fairly quickly. Most of my horses are more focused and eager to figure out what I'm asking when I use treats. Our latest command has been w/t/c from a standstill.

I will be the first to admit treats may be so effective for me because I am an inexperienced trainer. It did take a lot of practice though, to make the noise at the moment of the behavior. It's helped me become better at clearly defining the behavior I want, and noticing each tiny behavior that is close to or moving toward the goal behavior. For example, leaning back when I want steps back. It also helps me string behaviors together. Finally, desensitizing is also easier for me with treats.

I don't use them all the time, but they are handy for about 30% of the time for me.
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post #20 of 97 Old 01-27-2013, 04:31 PM
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Same here, not a treat trainer, whether it be dogs or horses.
I feel the mind set with the animal is trying to get the treat rather than really thinking about the task at hand and understanding it. I have really noticed it with treat trained dogs, they seem really focused but it is not on the handler- it is on the treat itself.
Training should be getting in their head and I do not feel I could get that by treat training.
If people want to feed treats fine- to their animals, I just ask people not to hand feed mine.
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