Horse Treats and Recipes

Some Tips When Feeding Treats

It is very important that once you start teaching your horse tricks that you ONLY feed your horse from your hand if he does something that you have asked him to do.  Your horse needs to learn that from now on the only time he gets a treat is if he does something you ask AND he does it correctly.

If you feed your horse treats at other times he won’t make the connection between doing something right and getting a treat.  You may also find that several other things will happen – your horse may get confused during trick training or he won’t try very hard to learn a new trick or he will be constantly mugging you for treats.

Horse Trick Treats
Only use a small amount of each treat (carrots are about 2.5cm long)

Many people like to give their horses a treat just because it’s a nice thing to do and because we love them, but if you are serious about trick training you need to resist the temptation to feed them treats at any time other than trick training time.

You only need to feed your horse a very small amount of the treat that you have chosen to use.  It must be small enough so your horse finishes it very quickly (they should only be chewing on it for a second or two)…just a taste.  Otherwise, you will be constantly waiting while he finishes his treat before you can move on to the next thing.

The treat must be something that your horse really likes.  This will encourage him to work harder to get the treat.   My horse, Trigger, loves some little trick biscuits I make or very small pieces of carrots.  Small amounts of your horse’s normal feed (especially ones with some molasses) work well too.  Try out a few different treats and see which ones really get your horse’s interest.

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Horse Treats and Recipes

Horse trick training treats

Most horses love treats and this is the best reward you can give them when they do something right.  Some horses are more than happy with a scratch or pat as a reward but it’s usually food that really inspires them to perform.

horse training treats
Some favorite horse trick treats

I have tried 100’s of different treats to find the best training treat.  Most horses love carrots and there are some really yummy horse pellets that are convenient and make cheap treats.

To teach your horse tricks (in the fastest time) you need to find a treat that really gets your horse’s interest.

Trigger’s favorite treat is a little biscuit that I bake (recipe in Horse Trick ebook) that keeps for several weeks and doesn’t go soggy.   Trigger nickers whenever he sees them and I know that I have his complete attention!

There are a few rules about feeding treats to your horse.  I was always taught never to feed treats because a horse can become nippy and try and mug you for treats.  But if you train your horse correctly and teach them some manners they learn very quickly that they only get them when they do the right thing.

I also don’t suggest using sweets as treats eg sugar cubes or lollies.  When you first start training your horse to do tricks you will need lots of them and something healthy is always best. So I recommend that one of the first things you should do if you want to teach your horse tricks is to find a treat that makes your horse prick up their ears and really gets their interest.