12-27-2009, 12:25 AM
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It's all in HOW you use the treat. If the horse gets treats for little to no effort, then yes, he will become a treat **** and his motto in life will be "Hand over the treats and no one gets hurt!" These are usually the more dominant horses.
I will use treats to motivate "lazy" horses and to offer a little something extra to the horse if he's offered me something really nice, but during a session I never give treats just because...the horse has to earn them. If not, he can become pushy. Pushy behavior with treats can be prevented in the first place.
To some horses treats mean nothing. These are usually the more unconfident horses, horses who have safety issues, not food issues! Lol. Treats should NEVER be used as bribery! Treats should be used as a bonus. To say that you never use treats is to limit yourself, and you better hope you don't run into that horse who will play on your limitations.