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I figure this is as good a place as any to put this :)

I am not a treat giver. I used to be but then Aidan started acting snotty when he was 2 and would get real pushy looking for treats (he's a total pig) so I stopped and just have never picked it back up. In the summer we save the watermelon rinds for him which he loves and the kids think is hilarious to watch him eat but other then that he just gets his usual feed and hay. Another boarder keeps this HUGE rubbermaid container of these banana looking cookie things and give likes a hand full every time she see's her horses.

So, are you a treat giver Ya or Nay?
 

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I am in moderation.

Tend to stick to apples, carrots and bananas. However my horses do love candy canes and those baked apple wafer treats, so we have those on hand too. Every once in a while I'll pick up stud muffins, but they have so much molasses in them the horses only get them when they're REALLY good.

If the horse is grabby/pushy, then they either get no treats or they get them in their grain bucket. Other than that, I feed them by hand.
 

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I feed a lot more treats then I probably should. :oops: I give them to the horses when I catch them, after we're done with bridling/saddling, and after I'm done riding.

I don't feed many treats at one time, and usually stick to good 'ol fashion apples and carrots. Sometimes I'll pick up some peppermint treats from the Tractor Supply or something like that, but those are reserved for REALLY good horses. :D
 

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Treats :) I like them to be rewarded for good behavior. I don't give them treats constantly...but when they do something I ask or do something really well that they normally have trouble with...I think treats are appropriate and useful too!
 

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Treats
I give hem when the horse does somthing good on the ground, and somtimes after a ride, if the ride went well. I feed those pre-sold kind, and apples or carrots if I have those on hand. Somtimes if I'm lazy, or the horse did ok, but not good enough for a treat, I just grab a handful of hay a feed it to them. :)
 

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Definitely give treats. I always hand feed and none of my guys have ever been nippy. The yearling stud colt isn't even nippy. I mainly stick to apples, carrots and mints. Annie especially loves the dinner mints. :)
 

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i do ! but they have to work for them & if they get nippy they dont get any for awhile =]
 

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Of course! Food is one of the most powerful motivators available. It would be foolish not to utilize it. Knowing when and how is where most people go wrong.
 

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I am guilty of giving my horses frequent treats!

But I have never seen the downside people always talk about, about horses being pushy and such. The biggest problem is just making sure my fingers don't go into their mouths too, because my Mustang especially will inhale treats fingers and all. :lol:

I use them when I go halter my horses (never a problem catching them, lol), when I groom and saddle them, when I unsaddle them, and during rides.

They only get them during rides if I am trying to train for a particular behavior though. For instance, when I mount up I immediately give my horse a cookie. The horse never walks off when mounting because he has been taught to wait for his cookie. :p

Another instance, is teaching them to sidepass to open gates. I ask the horse to sidepass and praise even the slightest yield to my leg. Then they get a cookie. Maybe this isn't the most effective training method if you are a professional, but it really works for me. It helps to relieve the frustration the horse feels when you as for a behavior and they haven't quite figured out what you want. Same thing if I ask them to back up and they do it well. They get a cookie. Instead of a frustrated horse, I get a horse that tries to learn what I am asking because they know they will get a treat in return.

What's funny is that I have a neighbor who was really "anti-treats," but she saw how well it works for getting the horses to stand when I mount and now she does it too!

So yeah, I spoil them rotten, but I try to do it in a way that rewards them for behaviors I want, like coming to me to get haltered, standing when I mount, etc.
 

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I give Major lots of treats, but I think it really does depend on the horse.
 

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Pro gets treats all the time from the hand, a bucket, or the ground. He never gets pushy or cranky about food.....Could be because he gets them so much he hasn't got a reason to need more!!:) He's my boy so he gets the special treatment. I have him so why not spoil him.

The other horse get treats if they were good. If they didn't get into trouble or they listened real well only on riding days. They get theirs from a bucket or the ground only. And I don't give our filly any treats at all.
 

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I give Rosie Alfalfa cubes as treats on a very regular basis. Like at least twice a day every day. I keep some of the DuMoor *spelling* treats to keep in my saddle bag. I always put fresh apples and carrots in the saddle bag right before the ride. She gets treats on the trail when we stop to snack. She gets the apples and carrots for special things. Like the first time I took her on a trail, we were on our way back and a Harley came up behind us pretty quick. When I heard it in the distance, my first thought was this horse is going to go nuts! It was my first long ride on her and I didn't know her real well. When we got to a place with an actual street light, she got a whole apple!!!
 

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Definitely a yay. :D
My horse gets her daily carrot right after our ride and when I turn her out. I just recently bought her some treats for her birthday, so she now also gets a few of those (they are small-ish pellets). On special/random days, I'll make horse cookies and pass them out at the barn. I also give treats when I have to catch a horse in the pasture.

If the horse is known to be nippy, I'll limit treats or put them in a feed bucket. My horse hasn't shown that habit though, so she just gets spoiled. :p
 

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Here's the thing with treats..... treats reinforce the action and the frame of mind that the horse is currently doing. So often, we talk about communicating with a horse as it would with another horse. I personally don't remember the last time I saw one horse walk up to another and give it a carrot in the pasture, and have found a good scratch on the withers to be just as effective of a motivator.

I do give my horses treats, usually an apple core after I ate the rest, or an occasional carrot before they start to grow tentacles in my fridge, but I don't make it a point to bring something with me every time I go to the barn. I use carrots for stretches, or I have even found treats very useful rewards for pushy horses to understand that they never get rewarded when they are being pushy. If the timing is right, it can be very easy to reward and reinforce the positive behavior.

I do have a problem with people feeding my horses treats, as they pay little attention to what they are rewarding, or think its cute if the horse is checking their pockets. I have seen just as many if not more negative effects from treats rather than positive. Even with my rare treats, every horse is still easy to catch, willing to work, attentive, and respectful. Treats can be useful, but I don't think they are necessary.
 

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treats!

i give cutter 1 or 2 treats almost daily, but, always (no exceptions) in the bucket. i find handfeeding leads to biting and snottyness and pushyness
 

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Depends on the horse.

Freddy was never motivated by food; the most interest he showed in food was grumpily nibbling your shoulder while you hung his beet pulp up. Then again, he never really had motivation for anything except for release, like a loose rein canter or a long-and-low trot!
Now Otis, on the other hand, is a horse that is motivated by food, and I would utilize it even while riding. He's never had positive experiences in work or a reward-based training, so motivating him with food or play would maybe bring him to at least finding some enjoyment in it.

My sister's green off-track thoroughbred, Rose, likes bananas and skittles (only the orange ones!).
Toby, our morgan/quarter horse cross, like everything that a horse would normally eat. However, I did accidentally feed him a large tree leaf one time; I held it up for him to sniff, testing to see if he would be scared of it or not. Apparently not, he munched it down and enjoyed it too!
Otis likes everything, I mean everything. Coffee, fries, potato chips, chocolate, even sour patches! Anything you can think of, I'm sure Otis would try it even once.
 

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I give treats, but like others mentioned I use them as a training aides rather than just handing them out. I don't tend to just walk up to them in the pasture and give them a treat for nothing. I generally stick to apple biscuits. They do all get a carrot a day, in their feed buckets, but I don't think of that so much as a treat, more a keratin supplement :D
 

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I'm beyond a treat giver. Ulana gets so many treats per day it's hard to even wrap your head around. Even all my students bring her treats to see what she likes/dislikes (likes far outweigh the dislikes by the way!). She'll eat anything from sour patch kids, to twizzlers, gushers, vanilla oreos, Fritos... you name it.

However, with all of this said, the mare does her job and she puts her heart into it. In addition, she knows her bounds. She's spoiled rotten, but respectful. So as long as it stays that way, I'll give her whatever she wants.
 

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guilty as charged....hello my name is paige and i am a treat-o-holic....

I trained dogs before horses and always used treats as rewards...it sorta fallowed over to the horses and it works too!

Ive used them to teach my boy to hold his feet, stand still, and he gets them when he does a good job on his rides...considering we dont do anything less then four miles a treat is nice lol

Recently ive used them to reward my arab when she has bridled nicely...ive also been using them to teach her to stand still and that its better just be caught an not to run lol if you stand still an get caught you might get a reward if you run there is no way you are getting one lol. I just used one the other day to relay what the meaning of 'calm' was to her (she had a spazz attack and i kept repeating the word and getting her to settle down and when she finally did i kept saying it and waited until she stood still for a bit then rewarded her lol she knew what calm meant then lol) ill also be using them to work on her trailering...i cant wait *sarcasm*

anywho i think they have a purpose if used right lol and i love the look on their faces when they realize a treat is on the way lol they get that silly shine in their eyes that says "TREATS!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!"
 
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