Giving Treats: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly - Page 9 - The Horse Forum
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post #81 of 134 Old 04-20-2015, 01:56 AM
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Lostastirrup, your example of a horse performing a trick, un asked, asscociated with a reward, brought back a childhood memory
When I was about 13 or so, I trained a foal , born out of one of our Percheron work horses, knowing nothing about training horses, and just out of a love for horses that I was born with
I taught her to shake a front leg, and rewarded with a sugar cube. Very cute when she was a foal, but not so cute when she would suddenly give you her front leg, un asked, as a full grown draft horse, looking for that sugar cube!
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post #82 of 134 Old 04-20-2015, 01:58 AM
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Smilie, I have trained, shown and generally been around horses for over 50 years, what it all comes down to? Enjoy your horse, meaning if you want to give the animal a treat because it makes you feel good & the horse feel good, then do it! If the horse is a brat, and start grabbing for treats, then don't, simple as that. We spend lots of dollars to keep these animals, might as enjoy them. Sometimes I don't have any treats, so the horses get none and don't miss it, no big deal, sometimes I do, and they enjoy it. If I can get the horse to come to me 5 minutes sooner if I have special treats, fine, if not, let him run around for 5 minutes, he always comes around to me when the silliness stops. Life too short to sweat the small stuff, enjoy your horse.
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I am not here to promote anythingNo, that's not true, I am here to promote everything equestrian and everyone enjoying horses!
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post #83 of 134 Old 04-20-2015, 11:16 AM
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The example of those offered behaviors is why tricks need to be paired with a cue. The animal needs to learn that behaviors offered without being cued don’t earn them anything, and it also helps stop things like being offered a giant hoof when you’re not expecting it!
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post #84 of 134 Old 04-20-2015, 11:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
And Judy Goodnight...........

"Hand feeding treats to your horse is the quickest way I know to cause the horse to disrespect your space. Horses are only capable of horse behavior and the order of the herd is linear, each individual of the herd is either subordinate to or dominates every other individual.
Horses establish dominance in the herd by controlling the space (movement and actions) of the subordinate members and the resources of the herd (food and water). In your herd of two, how do you fit into the linear herd hierarchy?"

What's a poor beginner to do? :(
This made me think of something I was taught when I was a beginner. I guess I've always been around people who don't mind hand feeding, but I was told that the horse should always have to move its head away from you- not reach out towards you- to accept a treat. So, you ask them to bend their head around towards their shoulder, away from you, to take the treat. You move the treat out of your space by moving into theirs. No idea if people here would agree with that, but I guess that's generally what I do.
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post #85 of 134 Old 04-20-2015, 11:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by waresbear View Post
Smilie, I have trained, shown and generally been around horses for over 50 years, what it all comes down to? Enjoy your horse, meaning if you want to give the animal a treat because it makes you feel good & the horse feel good, then do it! If the horse is a brat, and start grabbing for treats, then don't, simple as that. We spend lots of dollars to keep these animals, might as enjoy them. Sometimes I don't have any treats, so the horses get none and don't miss it, no big deal, sometimes I do, and they enjoy it. If I can get the horse to come to me 5 minutes sooner if I have special treats, fine, if not, let him run around for 5 minutes, he always comes around to me when the silliness stops. Life too short to sweat the small stuff, enjoy your horse.
Sure, everyone can handle their own horses however they wish, but forums are meant for horse a handling advise that fits all situations and level of experience. We all make exceptions that work for us, gained , through working with many horses, but that we don't actively promote .
I also raised horses for many years, that were sold, thus not handled by just me all their life. It just made more sense not to have those horses associate humans with treats. Whatever new owners did afterwards, never influenced the way that horse was when sold
A child, or in experienced person would not notice when that horse, used to being fed treats, stepped over the line, and also why professional trainers don't make feeding hand treats, part of their training program
If you are the only one handling your horse, go for it, if feeding treats makes you feel good!
Those accidents, in the link I posted, were not all due to a horse being aggressive, fed hand treats, as in the woman that lost part of her breast
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post #86 of 134 Old 04-20-2015, 12:08 PM Thread Starter
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Is a good scratching on an itchy spot a treat? And if so, could it be given on a regular enough basis to cause behavioral problems?

Seriously wondering about this.
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post #87 of 134 Old 04-20-2015, 12:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Hondo View Post
Is a good scratching on an itchy spot a treat? And if so, could it be given on a regular enough basis to cause behavioral problems?

Seriously wondering about this.
Well, done correctly, no.
At the same time, I had a friend that used to scratch the rump of her foals
Did not take them long to start to turn their rump to a person, backing up to them, waiting for that scratch, when approached in the pasture!
Again, seeing when the horse steps over the line, is very important, as horses make connections . For instance, a horse likes to have the area behind his ears rubbed, after a bridle is taken off, which is okay, but when that horse then is allowed to start rubbing his head on the person, anticipating that scratch, you have to correct
As the same time, a scratch on the withers, is a good way to reward a horse after a good ride, and the horse understands that much more then a pat on his rump, as that is the way horses mutually groom each other
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post #88 of 134 Old 04-20-2015, 12:35 PM
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Hondo, you can absolutely make scratching and praise a reward. We consider release of pressure a reward, so why not? I do some clicker training, but in my experience not all animals are super-motivated by food. We tend to use food rewards because they're easy and many animals ARE motivated by food, but I have encountered the odd one here and there that wasn't.

One example was a pair of minis I worked with. The mare was a shy, sweet little thing who absolutely BLOOMED when given the chance to earn clicks. She truly, truly loved pleasing people and "earning" her clicks, and I made great strides with her. Her gelding buddy, not so much. He liked the games, but he just wasn't as interested in pleasing people or earning rewards. Once you asked him to step it up, he just wasn't interested in putting in the effort anymore. I did more "classical" pressure and release training with him.
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post #89 of 134 Old 04-20-2015, 02:30 PM
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Hi All!

Quote:
Originally Posted by waresbear View Post
Enjoy your horse, meaning if you want to give the animal a treat because it makes you feel good & the horse feel good, then do it! If the horse is a brat, and start grabbing for treats, then don't, simple as that.
Yup, as simple as that.

My critters _are_ my pets. Large herbivorous pets who sometimes consent to carry me around on their backs. I _want_ them to be my friends. They like treats, and I like handing them out. If they get overly "nosy" about it, I pin my ears and back them off. No problem.

Hondo, George has me trained to scratch his butt. I don't see it as a problem. Actually I find it quite comical, and it obviously gives him a great deal of pleasure, maybe even elevates his herd status. I expect him to do things for me when I ask; pretty mean of me not to return the favor. And he is very clearly _asking_ for a scratch; no way to misinterpret that. "Monkey Fingers" :-)

I started in on a lengthy philosophical expansion of this statement, and decided it was way off topic. I have numerous chores to attend, and will consider starting a new thread when I have time to sit down and consolidate my thoughts. I'll drop a flag here if/when I post it.

ByeBye! Steve
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Microelectronics Research
University of Colorado
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post #90 of 134 Old 04-20-2015, 02:40 PM Thread Starter
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Hondo almost goes to sleep sometimes during a lengthy scratch session. Unless it's particularly itchy and then he smacks his lips and teeth and bends his head back, "you want me to scratch you too?" So I do have to watch for that. Sometimes he just scratches his front legs with his mouth when I've got a really good spot going.
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