Episode 26: Coaches’ Corner with Lynn Acton

Listen to Episode 26: Considering Treats

In this episode, Jec visits with Lynn Acton for a Coaches’ Corner discussion around treats. I am really pleased that they are taking this topic. Like you, I have an opinion around treating that has been reinforced by experience and experimentation.

In general, I don’t feed treats. I think it can absolutely create a safety problem and I believe there are much better ways to reward a horse. But. I have found that specific, knowable treats are really handy. For instance, I often head out many miles into the backcountry and hobble all four horses to let them graze while I read or cat nap. Hobbles are great but horses can still go pretty fast in them if they want to. What helps, when I am rounding them up to head home, is the crinkle of the familiar green wrapper of granola bars. (The bars, if you must know, are simple oat and honey Nature Valley granola bars.) They hear the crinkle. They see the bar. They stand contented as I get the hobbles off and lead them to my saddle horse. This was also a handy conditioning when, um, three of them got loose early the other morning.

Treating also leads into a conversation about petting and what you do with your horse and what you should do or, more importantly, not do, with other people’s horses. But that’s another episode, right? Please let us know what you think!

Like you, I’ve been around friends and other horse owners who feel way different that I do when it comes to treating. Lynn and Jec have great insight. So, in our usual podcast style, we’re putting forth some reasonable opinions and look forward to hearing from you.

Lynn Acton

As a follow up to my episode about Power, Sex, and Best Horse Practices, I want to say that I was really encouraged by the feedback. In particular, I heard from Art, a rider in Michigan and we’re looking forward to getting a little male perspective on an upcoming show.

Also, check out the Nicker News page for our Riding Season reviews. There you will not only find reviews of gear from Camelbak, Nomadix, Duckworth, Outdoor Pantry, Patagonia, and others. But also you can get online discounts with special codes for us to Chill Angel, Kate’s Real Food Bars and, one of my very favorite guilty pleasure sites, Bronwen Jewelry.

Our title sponsor is Lucerne Farms, producers of quality forage feeds. Lucerne is this outstanding little company in northern Maine, founded by his George and Susie James, I have known their son and Lucerne’s current owner Rich James and his wife Hannah for years and have sung their praises just as long.

We all know that forage, whether it’s grass or hay, is what horses evolved eating. Not too much has changed over thousands of years. What has changed is our horses’ access to pasture land which, of course, provides them with the forage they need on any given day. This is where Lucerne Farms comes in. Forage is chopped hay, an excellent option when you can’t have your horse on pasture or when you need to add calories and nutrients to your horses’ diet.

We also thank Redmond Equine for being part of our sponsorship family. Redmond rocks and other offerings come straight from their mine in Redmond, Utah.

We thank Kate’s Real Food and Patagonia WorkWear for their continued support. Did you know? All ya gotta do is comment or suggest a podcast topic or send us a training question here and you’ll be automatically qualified for our monthly Patagonia WorkWear giveaway.

Listen to Episode 26: Considering Treats

Posted in Equine Professionals, Podcast, Safety, Training, Uncategorized.

One Comment

  1. I have used the clicker training with my last 2 horses, so I’m pro-treats, but that doesn’t mean that I reward with treats the wrong behaviour. Just like people, every horse is different, and so a conscientious trainer will adjust their methods accordingly. I do not think that taking a group of horses and schooling them all in the exact same fashion will cultivate the very best out of each individual. In fact, this method very often leads to a lot of broken down horses, or totally spoiled horses. Plus, I absolutely refuse to exploit horses.

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