Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Southeastern PA
I am far from an expert, but I find that people tell me to treat my horse all the time. And it does not sit right with me. I am honestly asking for opinions, as maybe I am wicked, in which case I want to hear it, and I will start giving him treats.
But for me, I create a bond first with a horse, where they trust me and know me - and then and only after the bond I ask for things (unless it is a safety issue). My reward is a pat, or a rub or nice words in a nice voice.
My horse seems happy with this, he canters to me when I call him from a field, most of the time. Other times it takes quite a bit of calling, and then I get a trot :)
I do give him a carrot, but it is rare, and not in response to anything in particular, more that I want to give him a carrot or an apple. I stress that this is rare, like one carrot or apple a month.
It just does not sit right with me, that we would give a human child candy for doing what they are supposed to do, instead of saying 'good job' or 'I appreciate that'. And this is what other horse owners expect me to do with my horse.
Am I alone and a horrible horse owner, or do others agree?