Top Treats for Rewarding Your Horse

Training any animal can be littered with problems that need to be overcome and trying to train a horse is no different. There are very few creatures that do not appreciate praise and rewarding a horse for good work can enhance their training and behaviour.

While they should not get horse treats for every single thing they do, good performance and conduct should be recognised. This means rewarding the horse immediately after they have done something that you wanted them to do.

Small rewards

Pats and scratches might seem like a very simple way of rewarding a horse but it lets them know that you’re happy with what they are doing.

An affectionate pat following a certain piece of behaviour can help the horse to associate that behaviour with a reward over time. Similarly, reducing the pressure applied by the seat, hand or leg of the rider can also help the horse to see such actions a reward.

This does take time and plenty of training to develop, but eventually the horse should associate certain riding positions with certain behaviours.

Essentially the horse will learn that the rider will reduce their insistence as long as they get the desired results.

Edible horse treats

Food treats need to be given at the right times to ensure that a horse understands why they are gaining them. Horse treats given a long period of time after actions are merely a snack in the eyes of the horse.

However, a treat following something straight away is more of a reward, especially if the horse gets one several times it does the same thing.

At the same time the horse must be polite when taking the reward – its rider is not merely a walking food basket and should not be treated as such.

For a personal touch, riders could consider their own horse treat recipes so that the treats a horse receives can reflect certain actions. This also enables horse owners to create treats that are as healthy for the horse as they want them to be.

Numerous studies have highlighted the close links between food treats and well trained horses, with the key being to boost the horse’s attention span while learning.

Once rewarded, the horse can look towards the trainer expecting more, thus remaining concentrated for a longer period of time. When it comes to edible treats, one horse will vary from another. While one may have very specific tastes, another might eat literally anything that is placed in front of it.

Horse toys and games

Some horses will respond especially strongly to games or horse toys that act as a reward during, or following, physical activity.

These horse games could include stable balls and snack balls, with the latter a great reward toy – treats are placed inside it which the horse must then get out. This acts as an alternative way of giving the horse a treat as they must actually work a little bit for their reward.

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