I reward my nine year old gelding with a peppermint or two after working and riding if he has done well. Some times, I bring a peppermint out to the pasture even if I'm just visiting for a few minuets or am going to muck. But should I reward more frequently during riding and groundwork to REALLY encourage good behavior?
During riding, I use a softer, quieter voice to signal that he is doing well; and a harder, louder voice to signal mistakes (these are in addition to leg and rein cues)
I use the same soft/hard cues while working him on the ground.
But should I also reward with a treat when he, for example, overcomes an obstacle that before was refused no matter what?
The last time I worked with him, he had to step over a set barrels. After much coaxing and encouraging, he finally stepped over and was given much praise and love. I had him repeat the exercise several times before moving on. Should things such as thing be rewarded with a tasty treat?