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Treat training horses.What are peoples opinions / thoughts.

This is a discussion on Treat training horses.What are peoples opinions / thoughts. within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category

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        01-27-2013, 04:53 PM
      #21
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cherie    
    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.
    Well I am fairly certain that the Spanish Riding school can get their horses to do the regular stuff.In fact I believe that's where Haute ecole starts.I can get my horses to do the things that I want without treats by using pressure and release and so forth.What I do find is that I have a more eager willing horse because it has something to look forward to.Haute ecole is not just trick training .At All. Nothing that humans do with horses is "natural" with or without treats.There is a much bigger resistance to this type of training in Northl America, for some reason.
         
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        01-27-2013, 05:00 PM
      #22
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by rookie    
    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.
    Exactly! I always found that using traditional methods, my horses listened but I always felt they listened a little begrudgingly .This completely changed when I turned to treats as a positive reward.It like they saw me coming to work with them and looked forward to it.
         
        01-27-2013, 05:01 PM
      #23
    Weanling
    I agree with what was said about conditioning. For some animals (eg. Dogs, horses) that are particularly food-motivated, a treat can be a more powerful incentive than pressure-release or patting/verbal rewards. For example, the last horse I leased was extremely receptive to personal affection (kind words, a pat on the neck or a scratch). My current horse responds to those rewards, but he is highly food-motivated and will respond very well if there is a treat involved! The key is not to always treat-- if we are learning something new, I will offer a treat, but if he has consistently responded (and been treated) to something in the past, I will expect him to do it as I ask with no food reward.

    I recommend using a clicker if you are looking to treat-train. As was mentioned, many times the issue is rewarding them fast enough to create an association between a behavior and a reward. A clicker allows instant response to a positive action, and the treat follows the clicker sound.

    Just my thoughts. :)
    Foxtail Ranch and Newfie like this.
         
        01-27-2013, 05:16 PM
      #24
    Super Moderator
    Just taking the 'backing thing' --

    I find that getting a light 'quick' backup is all about preparation and real training. Once you get a horse to round its back, bring its belly up and get the weight off of its forehand (lift its shoulders), it is simply a matter of 'pushing' or 'driving' a horse back. You only 'close the front door'. You DON'T try to pull the horse back. People that get resistance are trying to pull horses back and they get resistance and feet that barely drag back. If you want t a horse to pick up his feet and step back lightly and quickly, you have to do the preparation. This comes back to good training and good preparation and not having a horse reaching for a treat.

    Backing is completely related to stopping. It is exactly the same thing. The horse needs a rounded back (as opposed to a hollow back), a belly that is lifted up, and shoulder that are lifted up. When you do this, a horse will stop on its back-end and if it has sliders on or good ground, the back feet will slide and the front feet will travel because he is trying to stop and he has his weight off of his front end. More bit or more pull just gets a stiff, resistant stop with a horse jamming its front feet into the ground. It is a matter of teaching and preparation.

    If you got a treat to get a good back-up (and I would have to see that), how is it going to relate to or help a stop? You cannot give a treat during or quickly enough after a stop for a connection to be made.

    I am open minded, but I want to see something more and better than you can get with 'good training'. So far, I just think if people think they are getting better results with treats, they just do not have the skill to teach the maneuver with proper preparation. So in that way, it is just another means to an end on very basic things. Personally, I think they should invest in time with a good trainer that can teach them to properly prepare a horse for the next more difficult task or maneuver.

    Like I said, I have an open mind and would like to see before, during and after videos to see what treat are doing that training with pressure and release will not do.
    gypsygirl likes this.
         
        01-27-2013, 08:00 PM
      #25
    Banned
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Cherie    
    Just taking the 'backing thing' --

    I find that getting a light 'quick' backup is all about preparation and real training. Once you get a horse to round its back, bring its belly up and get the weight off of its forehand (lift its shoulders), it is simply a matter of 'pushing' or 'driving' a horse back. You only 'close the front door'. You DON'T try to pull the horse back. People that get resistance are trying to pull horses back and they get resistance and feet that barely drag back. If you want t a horse to pick up his feet and step back lightly and quickly, you have to do the preparation. This comes back to good training and good preparation and not having a horse reaching for a treat.

    Backing is completely related to stopping. It is exactly the same thing. The horse needs a rounded back (as opposed to a hollow back), a belly that is lifted up, and shoulder that are lifted up. When you do this, a horse will stop on its back-end and if it has sliders on or good ground, the back feet will slide and the front feet will travel because he is trying to stop and he has his weight off of his front end. More bit or more pull just gets a stiff, resistant stop with a horse jamming its front feet into the ground. It is a matter of teaching and preparation.

    If you got a treat to get a good back-up (and I would have to see that), how is it going to relate to or help a stop? You cannot give a treat during or quickly enough after a stop for a connection to be made.

    I am open minded, but I want to see something more and better than you can get with 'good training'. So far, I just think if people think they are getting better results with treats, they just do not have the skill to teach the maneuver with proper preparation. So in that way, it is just another means to an end on very basic things. Personally, I think they should invest in time with a good trainer that can teach them to properly prepare a horse for the next more difficult task or maneuver.

    Like I said, I have an open mind and would like to see before, during and after videos to see what treat are doing that training with pressure and release will not do.
    Cherie, I have pointed out several trainers whom you can view on youtude that treat train.I guess my answer t your question would be with another question.What do pressure and release do that treat training cannot.It is just 2 different methods of training using reward.Treat being one form of positive reinforcement and release also being a different form of positive reinforcement. I only said it was an alternative form of training.
         
        01-27-2013, 08:46 PM
      #26
    Started
    I understand a number of different views on treats. I am an experienced enough horse person to get stuff done. I don't see myself as having horses that are crazy but I am not going to say I am a professional. I am a bit offended by the insinuation that using treats makes you less of a horse person; however, I understand that with it being a "new" idea in equine training its going to draw raised eyebrows.

    For me, the back up worked because I used a cue word (back up) and that vocal command translated to undersaddle. I could then pair the vocal command with the saddle cues. This also worked for whoa. I only did this because I had a horse that when asked to stop and trained by a "conventional trainer" the horse would rear. That's a great surprise to have, send a horse for 90 days of training and get on him to find he rears when asked to stop and "had to be lunged for 15 minutes before being ridden so he does not bolt with you".

    For what its worth, some of the top schools for children with autism use food rewards and clicker training. Which makes it worth investigating in my opinion. I think if you can use reward based training to reach children that are considered unreachable by conventional educational methods and turn them into productive members of society than its worth learning about. Working with animals is not as different from working with nonverbal children as we would like to think (although nonverbal children as a general rule have more complex behavior patterns and higher measurable IQ). The key is finding a something that those kids care about and can motivate them, sometimes that's candy.
    Foxtail Ranch likes this.
         
        01-27-2013, 09:21 PM
      #27
    Foal
    I think treats are great. Most horses are ruled by ther stomachs and it's good to reward them when they have done something good. My horse who had been ill treated use to be scared of anything going near his ears but with some rewards he lets me play with his ears and I can put the bridle on easily without him throwing his head around.
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        01-27-2013, 09:26 PM
      #28
    Trained
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Newfie    
    Cherie, I have pointed out several trainers whom you can view on youtude that treat train.I guess my answer t your question would be with another question.What do pressure and release do that treat training cannot.It is just 2 different methods of training using reward.Treat being one form of positive reinforcement and release also being a different form of positive reinforcement. I only said it was an alternative form of training.
    the big thing to me anyways, is how am I going to treat my horse when im riding ? I have short arms !

    Although, my horse does get a treat at the end of our work out, when we stop to walk around. Just because she spoiled though =P
         
        01-27-2013, 09:38 PM
      #29
    Green Broke
    I test rode a Mustang whose trainer was very, very into treat training.

    OMG it was awful! Very nice horse but unless you carried around a 50lb sack of treats you didn't get a ride. His owner dispensed treats faster than a gumball machine because he needed them for EVERYTHING. Only horse I have ever seen that jumped into the trailer and promptly stuck his head up to the slats for his treats and when they didn't immediately arrive (she was momentarily distracted) promptly jumped back out and had to be given another to get him to go in and then multiples when in.

    Literally, any pause whatsoever while riding, the head would whip around for more treats. Pick out *a* hoof, treat. Put on a saddle pad, treat. Bridle got a whole handful!

    Needless to say, I didn't buy him....


    I do allow my kids to dispense treats by the handful at the barn (they know who to hand-feed and who needs their in a feed pan). I want all the horses to ADORE my children, just in-case. Since they only hand them out to stalled horses, it works great. If they drop a lead rope or an unhaltered horse gets past them out a gate, they run for their stalls and stand there waiting for their treats!
    gypsygirl likes this.
         
        01-27-2013, 09:53 PM
      #30
    Super Moderator
    Treats are nothing new. 50 years ago it was just called 'coaxing' with food.

    A 'traditional' trainer does not make a horse rear and does not train a horse to need to be longed before riding -- a BAD trainer does. It has nothing to do with traditional vs. whatever. It only takes a bad trainer.

    I see timing as the biggest problem with treats. The release of pressure is instant. The treat comes after the pressure has been released. How do you know if the horse responded because of the release of pressure or the treat that followed.

    When they are used to 'coax' which I guess it what I do when a give a new horse a bite of something for walking up and meeting me at the gate, it is not teaching by 'pressure and reward' as apposed to 'pressure and release'. New horses and wild, fearful horses will definitely get more friendly with a treat or two but that, again, is coaxing.
    gypsygirl and natisha like this.
         

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