Join Date: May 2013
Location: Central Florida
• Horses: 0
I'm very 'pro treats' with Sonny. I think it depends on the horse, though. Sonny has never offered to be nippy about it. I make him be respectful before giving the treat, also. He definitely wouldnt get one if he tried to mug me for it. I use them for reward , mostly, which imho causes him to put more effort into his 'try'.
I also use graduated treats, when I can remember to do that. A piece of carrot or apple for when he finally 'gets' something we've been working on, or gives a really big try at it,,,a store bought treat/cookie for a good job on familar task, and a couple of cheerios (yes, the cereal), for a good job on very familar task. Yes, he is thrilled to get TWO little cheerios. LOL !
And, of course, praise/scratches when a 'treat' is earned, but not even a cheerio. LOL. I mostly forget to graduate the reward, and use storebought treats.
He's very food motivated, so I think food reward is of good use with him. If I even say 'good boy', he starts muttering/low grumbles of a nicker and ears pricked forward because he thinks he might get a treat.
I even treat him from the saddle, but I have attached a cue to it. I lean down and lightly pinch him to let him know I'm offering a treat, which causes him to bend his head around to take it. Might come in handy someday if I need to rebuckle a bridle, or pick up dropped reins. Acutally have used it to pick up dropped reins, come to think of it.
Be as soft as possible, but as firm as necessary--Pat Parelli