"As for the treats, I am a big believer in ending on a good note. I don't see them as a reward, I see them as something that my horse likes and enjoys."
Likes and enjoys is fine, BUT, do not think for one moment the treats will have anything to do with ending on a good note. In the time it takes to give the horse the treat, the horse has forgotten what it is he's being rewarded for. This is what gets so many folks into problems. A horse's memory of an incident is less than 3 seconds. Anything you do outside of that time frame is a new incident or occurrence.
I totally disagree with having a helper. Do this right, with a spray nozzle on a hose, and stay out of his reach, and you do not need a helper. A helper only muddies the waters, as far as the horse is concerned. The helper is just one more distraction the horse will pay attention to. You want his undivided attention.
To each their own. What I do works quite well for me. I personally will never wash a horse without a helper. That person, like anything works as an extension of me, not a human hitching post. They are there to correct and guide, and yes, even distract, allowing me to focus on the task at hand. If that horse swings his butt around and knocks me down(never have had this happen), or something else happens, that person is there to correct immediately, not have me floundering trying to wrangle hose, horse and tools. That other person essentially divides the workload, reduces stress and waste. We each know our role and work as a team. I am glad you are coordinated enough to juggle the horse, the hose, the shampoo, brushes and everything you need all at once.
As for treats, again, to each their own. I am quite fond of doing things my horses enjoy. Not as reward, but just to see them enjoy it. They do not look for or expect treats, nor are pushy about them. After something unnecessary and unpleasant like baths, I see no harm in it. But, again, that is just me. Posted via Mobile Device