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So, when I teach a horse with treats they end up running me over for the treat, or trying to get a treat from my hand when I don't have one, or running me over. Does anyone train with treats as rewards successfully?

Oh, and I'm not training anything major, just little tricks.

Thanks,
 

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i never hand feed my mare besides when she is stretching or bowing. she never expects treats at other times because she never gets them. also if she tries to stretch when im not asking her to i dont reward her for it, i just ignore her.
 

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No, I do not use treats as rewards for training. They get a release from pressure, a "good girl/boy" and a heartfelt rub.

They do get treats in their feed on occasion, just because I want to. On long trail rides , when we stop for lunch, I do carry a bag of cut up carrots that I give to my horse to nibble on. And I have been known to give a treat after a grooming session, when they are all relaxed and mellow.

I want my horse to focus on what I'm asking of him/her, not on the treat they want.
 

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I think it really depends on the individual horse as well. I can't hand feed ANYTHING to my 2 year old or she gets busy, grabby lips and I don't want to encourage that. My mom has a 12 year old mare that you can hand feed all day and she'll sniff for more, but doesn't get lippy about it.

For training purposes I'm not sure how much I agree with using treats...depends what you're training. There's not much incentive for a horse to learn to bow unless there's something yummy under them to reach down for - my best friend taught her paint filly to bow using treats and it worked wonderfully for her! I'm still teaching my 2 year old that my fingers don't taste good...for training, I would go with walkamile's method, which is also what I do. The release of pressure, verbal reinforcement, and rub on the shoulder is more than enough to let them know they've done what you asked.
 

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At first you should reward with pressure and realeas like walkamile said. But, once your horse understands that your the boss, and how things work, giving treats isn't bad. I taught my horse manners with treats. People always say a way to your horses heart is through its stomach.

I think the problem here is your horse thinks he can walk all over you, with no punishment. Try not bringing any treats the next time and just reward him with brushing. Once he understands where your space is then it should be okay.
 

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It all depends actually. I give a treat after the grooming and when I'm done riding and dismounted. However now I teach them to be vacuumed and clipped and I use LOTS of carrots when doing head clipping. I clip a little and if they behave give a piece of carrot. Then clip again. I did the same thing when I was teaching them to pick the feet for cleaning.
 

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depends on how you are training them and how you are feeding the treats...

I taught my old horse who used to completely mug me for treats to not do it (By using a look away command) and this was done with clicker training - which is all about rewarding with treats;...

worked a treat (hehe mind the pun) too!
 

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It's all in HOW you use the treat. If the horse gets treats for little to no effort, then yes, he will become a treat **** and his motto in life will be "Hand over the treats and no one gets hurt!" These are usually the more dominant horses.

I will use treats to motivate "lazy" horses and to offer a little something extra to the horse if he's offered me something really nice, but during a session I never give treats just because...the horse has to earn them. If not, he can become pushy. Pushy behavior with treats can be prevented in the first place.

To some horses treats mean nothing. These are usually the more unconfident horses, horses who have safety issues, not food issues! lol. Treats should NEVER be used as bribery! Treats should be used as a bonus. To say that you never use treats is to limit yourself, and you better hope you don't run into that horse who will play on your limitations.
 

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i teach my horse to come when called, everytime she comes to the gate when i call her she get licorice, same with everytime i put her out. taught her not to bolt off down the paddock, and to come so i dont have to walk :D

but depends on the horse, it didnt work with my tb x
 

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I give my boy treats as a reward when his doing tricks. But I do teach him to "come" and reward him with a treat, as he isn't a horse that connects a pat with a reward. As he always haves cuddles and pats.
 

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The only time I have used treats with my horse is when I taught him to bow. He is still learning it but he gets treats when he bows right, but other than that he doesn't get treats. (I got lucky, he comes to his name! So I don't have to give him a treat when he comes to me! lol!)
And Demi is learning to come to me by following Romeo!:D
 

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It's all in HOW you use the treat. If the horse gets treats for little to no effort, then yes, he will become a treat **** and his motto in life will be "Hand over the treats and no one gets hurt!" These are usually the more dominant horses.

I will use treats to motivate "lazy" horses and to offer a little something extra to the horse if he's offered me something really nice, but during a session I never give treats just because...the horse has to earn them. If not, he can become pushy. Pushy behavior with treats can be prevented in the first place.

To some horses treats mean nothing. These are usually the more unconfident horses, horses who have safety issues, not food issues! lol. Treats should NEVER be used as bribery! Treats should be used as a bonus. To say that you never use treats is to limit yourself, and you better hope you don't run into that horse who will play on your limitations.


Not sure I understand this. I have never seen any Big Name trainers use treats or for that matter any well known and respected local trainers use them. I'm sure they have "run into" every imaginable type of "horseanality" out there.

Please explain, as I think I've missed something and hate that! :wink:
 

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You know what it's a very good point. I think the first 2 horses I had both became hogs when I started to hand feed them. Something I switched to, was only feeding after a workout and only in a bucket or feeding container. Not sure that it's the best option, but I have never had that issue with the rest of the horses I have owned.

I think the issue with hand feeding is that if you start doing it, then they expect it and they won't know any better than to search for treats.
 

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[/b]

Not sure I understand this. I have never seen any Big Name trainers use treats or for that matter any well known and respected local trainers use them. I'm sure they have "run into" every imaginable type of "horseanality" out there.

Please explain, as I think I've missed something and hate that! :wink:
I know CA uses treats (at least he states he does :wink: ), but not as a reward but just sometime in field when the horses don't expect them. The trainer I started to take lessons with gave the horse a big carrot when we were done with lesson, also another known local NH trainer (she's REALLY good, very much like Stacy W) is really big about treats: I asked her directly after the show and she said yes, her horse is treat-spoiled. Lol!
 

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At first you should reward with pressure and realeas like walkamile said. But, once your horse understands that your the boss, and how things work, giving treats isn't bad. I taught my horse manners with treats. People always say a way to your horses heart is through its stomach.

I think the problem here is your horse thinks he can walk all over you, with no punishment. Try not bringing any treats the next time and just reward him with brushing. Once he understands where your space is then it should be okay.
Good advice. I can reward Shiloh with treats but Saro hasn't gotten that I'm not a cookie factory. When I work with her I take all goodies out of my pockets. I think more respect training should take care of it.
 

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I know CA uses treats (at least he states he does :wink: ), but not as a reward but just sometime in field when the horses don't expect them. The trainer I started to take lessons with gave the horse a big carrot when we were done with lesson, also another known local NH trainer (she's REALLY good, very much like Stacy W) is really big about treats: I asked her directly after the show and she said yes, her horse is treat-spoiled. Lol!
Yes, but none of your examples are using treats for training, which is what the question was. In your examples, the horse isn't doing anything specific to get a treat (the lesson/session is over) the owner/trainer is giving a treat "just because".

I am also curious about Spirithorse's comment "To say that you never use treats is to limit yourself, and you better hope you don't run into that horse who will play on your limitations." Just HOW is a horse going to play on anyone's limitation of not using treats?
 

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Yes, but none of your examples are using treats for training, which is what the question was. In your examples, the horse isn't doing anything specific to get a treat (the lesson/session is over) the owner/trainer is giving a treat "just because".

I am also curious about Spirithorse's comment "To say that you never use treats is to limit yourself, and you better hope you don't run into that horse who will play on your limitations." Just HOW is a horse going to play on anyone's limitation of not using treats?
You are right, I didn't really answer the training question. It was more referred towards people who never give treats for any reasons. I know several known local trainers who say treats are big NO-NO, and they are forbidden completely in barns.

Oh, yes, Tommie Turvey gives treats when horse did a trick successfully (like sit or lay down)! I've seen that at his clinics. And he uses the treats (I believe carrots) to make a horse to do what he wants. Certainly worked successfully for him. :D
 

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Pat Parelli uses treats in training sessions whenever it is needed. For some horse's personalities using treats (or grazing spots) is a great motivator to get them to WANT to do things for you. My comment basically meant that if you say you never use treats you better hope you don't run into a horse who you can't force to do this or that....a horse who won't put up with all the things people can/will do to get him to do things he doesn't want to do....and using treats/motivational exercises (point to point) is the way to get him to WANT TO. A good example is my warmblood...no one would dare use treats around him, but I did in the beginning, and he no longer has laziness issues or rotten attitude issues.
 

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i never handfeed my horse, he bites and im trying to discourage that. if he gets treats, they go straight in his feed bucket
 

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There's a big difference between using treats as reward, as opposed to treats as bribery. Treats as a reward is giving the horse a treat AFTER he has performed what you have asked of him to a satisfactory level, where he does not know there is a treat available and he has performed what you have asked out of good training.

Bribery is using a treat to tempt a horse into something. In my opinion, that is NOT training unless you combine it with gradually decresing the treats until the horse will perform the action on your aids not in desire of a piece of food.

A good example is one which I have used in another thread which brought up the issue of bribery/"training", with treats. "Training" a horse to enter a float by bribing him in with food. The vast majority of horses I have seen "trained" with this method that started out as horses that would not set foot in the float, ended up being horses that would run up the ramp, stretch out, grab a mouthfull of food and run backwards. Eat the food, go back up again etc. Eventually the horse would get sick of running up and down, so would stay in the float. Owners would quickly shut up the ramp and off they go on their merry way.

Then they get where they're going and say 'hey, we forgot to bring treats.....oh well he's "trained" to load now'. So of course, he point blank refuses to enter the float again until some sort of food bribery is offered.

Please explain to me how this is training? There is no discomfort for the horse to be outside of the float, I don't understand how this would work?
I have trained a good 15 horses now to load, each of them had varying issues with loading. Each one I worked in basically the same way. Pressure/discomfort outside of the float created by tapping them continuously on the hindquarters with a dressage whip, and as soon as a step towards the float is taken, then pressure comes off. Ask with forward pressure on the halter, horse doesn't move forward, he gets the pressure again. Took me maybe 20mins to get the worst one to load with no dramas. The horses that I'm still hearing about, will all load now without a drama, rope over the neck and walk straight up. They don't run out when you open the back as they know if they do, it's going to be uncomfortable.

To me pressure/release is the way horses learn, not using bribery.
 
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