Horse – just like any other animal interacting with human – would like to be rewarded for each properly performed task or exercise. Rewards are very important, as they are contrary to punishments, such as whip or spurs, so at the same time they help in balancing.
During training, the simplest method of rewarding your horse is to tap him on the neck and add a voice praise, e.g. “good horse” uttered in soft and friendly tone. Apart from that, a perfect treat, most liked by horses (and also the most understandable for them) are snacks. A piece of apple or carrot would be perfect, however they are better in the stable, e.g. when your horse is behaving well during a veterinarian or smith’s visit. For trainings we recommend dry snacks. They are handy and small so you can easily fit them in the pockets of your breeches or vests. In our equestrian store Equishop we offer the iconic heart-shaped strawberry snacks from ESKADRON (we haven’t heard about a horse that wouldn’t like them) or our novelty, namely Equinatura snacks of exotic banana-apple-pineapple taste. This snack is additionally rich in vitamins and minerals. As a reward you can also give your horse sugar cubes, but you should keep in mind that sugar administered to horses can cause them harm, e.g. colitis or lead to excessive acidification.
Remember to give your horse a reasonable amount of the rewards – one biscuit or snack, or one-quarter of an apple – because before your horse finish chewing a handful of biscuits or a whole carrot, he will forget why these treats were given to him.
Another form of rewarding your horse for a well done job is a proper massage done with a massage comb. This will help your horse relax and unwind, and his tired muscle with regenerate more quickly.
As it is commonly known, horses need to learn how to live and work with humans. It is not in their nature. Domesticating these animals took a long time. The horses' adaptation to working for humans and with humans requires loads of the animals' effort - both physical and mental - that is not always in consonance with their nature. This is why rewarding the horse in the process of learning, trainings, exercises and other works with and for humans is crucial.
Remember that rewards are always more effective than punishments. However, if the situation requires punishment, you need to keep in mind that when he does better you have to reward him, preferably doubly e.g. with a tap and a snack.