Using treats when training horses is often frowned upon. People especially associate clicker training type methods that use treats as rewards with greedy, pushy horses that people might label as aggressive. If the aggression is the symptom, what is the cause?
Horses are grazing creatures - in their natural environment, they would be eating small amounts of feed almost constantly. Their feed would consist of grasses and other plants that they would seek out, then bite and pull from the ground. So what happens when we feed our horses large amounts of hay twice a day?
About a week ago, the horses and I had an incredible experience. We met up with some photographers/cinematographers at the beach and ended up getting so many beautiful shots! We've never been around so many people taking our picture all at once. The horses LOVED all the attention. I was usually doing things with one horse while the other stood with the girl who helps me take care of them. She didn't even have to hold on; the horse that was off-camera was always happy to stand for other photographers to take their pictures! So they were both constantly in front of someone's lens 🙂
I've never had a particular desire to "shoe" my horse. Tucker was barefoot when I met him and I had every intention of keeping him that way! I tried some horse hoof boots once, and loved them for the one ride before they broke. The only negative things were that they were super difficult to put on...and that they broke after a couple uses. Fast forward several years, and I am presented with a semi-crippled Trubee!
One of my personal favorite tricks is the “hug”. I like it because it really feels like a hug, and it also seems like Tucker understands that I enjoy it more than just as a trick. It is something that seems to make him happy as a way of expressing affection in a language we both understand, along with "kiss."
Clicker training is awesome. I can 100% vouch for that, because I see the results firsthand every day. But like all things, it can be a bad thing in the wrong hands. The bad reputation that clicker training has earned is due to the technique that uses a clicker, not because of the clicker itself. Just like the classic "the bit is not a weapon, it is the hand that wields it" or however those things go! Here is some information on how to keep clicker training a positive experience, and some stories about some struggles I've had to figure out.
Are you ready to make some fun, wholesome cookies for your dogs and horses? I made this base recipe up as I went, and it turned out great! Depending on how long you cook them, they can be soft and chewy or crispy on the outside with a soft center. If you let them sit in the oven after you turn the oven off or bake for longer at a lower temperature, or make them extra thin, they will become crunchy all the way through! We like the chewy centers 😉