However, I hate having a horse you have to bribe to catch,
Agreed. I don't think bribery is necessarily
a bad thing, but I do think it's generally
not the greatest idea. There is a big difference between bribing/luring & positive reinforcement.
Does not mean I used to catch our stallion by bringing a mare to his gate!
I think this is missing the point somewhat actually. Just because something is desirable to a horse doesn't mean that it should be used, or is appropriate, or that because one thing isn't, means that other desirable things can't be either.
And yes, I expect my horses to work for me out of a desire to please, and not due to a food reward.
I think this is the first time I've disagreed with you Smiley!
I don't believe in 'desire to please' as in an animal wants to please you just because you're The Owner. Whether it's due to rewards(food or otherwise), or negative reinforcement(relief from undesirable stuff/pressure), horses do what works & quit doing what doesn't work. If they 'desire to please' it is because there is something *else* in it for them, be that food rewards or otherwise.
This forum is headed, new to horses', so even if some of us deviate as to what would be considered good horsemanship, using judgement , gained over time, to make those exceptions, I don't think it is solid advise to tell anyone just learning about horses to go ahead and use treats, esp hand fed
I get your point - tho not that you appear to be saying in your opinion, rewarding horses is bad horsemanship
- and agree fully with cautioning people, esp inexperienced ones. I don't however think that's about food treats particularly though, but whatever you use, reinforcement or punishment, positive or negative you need to be aware of what exactly you're allowing/reinforcing, and conscious of dangerous behaviour that can be inadvertently taught.
Eg. people need to be cautious about the dangers of negatively reinforcing(removal of 'pressure') the wrong behaviours too, but that's not to say that using negative reinforcement should therefore be avoided by 'newbies'. Learning behavioural principles will better enable people to understand how to be effective - and safe - with whatever they use.