I hired a trainer...and a question about treats! - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 25 Old 01-01-2014, 03:14 PM
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It's a rule at most barns I know of that giving treats inside a paddock or at a fence line is also a huge no-no. I've seen a few fights break out over the years when there's a kid with a handful of tasty treats and the competition begins. If not a fight, there's often pushing and shoving.

Yes, an experienced handler/owner can lessen the chances that there will ever be a problem in this situation, but IMHO, never completely rule it out...and a less than perfectly educated handler (AKA, most kids) can end up getting hurt in a scuffle, or simply pushed and possibly trampled if they go down.

I have a personal rule to never treat inside a paddock at all. A side effect is that the horses are usually well mannered coming out of the paddock because they equate the other size of the gate with the point the treats may start flowing. ;)
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post #22 of 25 Old 01-01-2014, 03:49 PM
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Problems can arise from feeding treats from your hand if it is done willynilly and not as a reward. The horse can smell them in your pocket and can start together pushy.

My horses always had a carrot in their manger when they came in from the field. To say I never treated them from my hand would not be true, they knew they had to take it gently and never snatch. Small children could give them a carrot, holding a carrot by the end rather in the open palm of their hand where it rolls off little hands, and the horses would feel where little fingers were with their lips before biting the carrot.
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post #23 of 25 Old 01-01-2014, 04:11 PM
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I'm sort of on the fence with this because as a general rule I do agree that you're best to give your horse treats from the ground rather than your hand. Especially if it's a horse you don't know, you don't want to un train them and you also don't know how they'll react.

Now, I do give the mare that I lease treats from my hand when she's on the cross-ties and can't reach the ground, or when she is just not getting the fact that it's on the ground (which happens often).

If you are going to hand-feed a horse treats then it should only be for the purpose of rewards, and you will need to keep an eye out for pushy behaviour starting so that you can nip it in the bud. If you maintain your personal space and demand respect from your horse, I can't see there being too many problems coming out of it. It's just a matter of keeping on top of things. I've been hand-feeding her treats for three months and I don't have an issue with her becoming pushy because I make sure that I don't let her even think about it.

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post #24 of 25 Old 01-01-2014, 04:21 PM
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I look at it like this. All treats are MINE. Completely and utterly until I decide to give them to a horse (or a dog). If I give them one of my treats because I like how fluffy they are in the winter, I can. If I want to give them one because they stood nicely while I clipped them, I can. They never get one because they want one, let alone if they demand one. Try that and they'll get reprimanded proportionally to their transgression just like any invasion of my personal space. Bucket, hand, daily, never... doesn't matter to me. All treats are belong to me until I feel like giving them out, and all rudeness is rudeness and will be dealt with as such. So far I've never had a horse be confused about it.
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post #25 of 25 Old 01-06-2014, 04:09 AM
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In my opinion, treats do not hurt anything. Depending on the horse, I will give them carrots or apples or some other type of horse treat. Cow Cake works well with my horses. I do not ever give them sugar cubes, they just don't need the sugar. I have not had any problems with horses getting pushy for treats. I have taught them to take carrots out of my mouth, my pockets etc and never had a problem. Keep in mind that the horses have all been mares or geldings or young colts, yearlings or less. Would not do that with studs, but even giving them treats is fine if you know the horse and don't let them get nippy as that is a normal tendency for a stud.
Did the vet say why she didn't like your horse? From the picture I don't see a major problem and if you are happy with the horse and the horse works for you, then unless it is a health or lameness issue or the horse is not suitable for what you want to do with it, then I wouldn't pay any attention to what that Vet told you and I would change Vets to boot.

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