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Discussion on Regular cherrios or honey nut cherrios?

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Cynthesize
Member
Username: cynth

Post Number: 6
Registered: 3-2010
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 - 2:17 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I an going to be conditioning my horse, and in the behavior modification conditioning section of this site, it mentioned just a couple of grains of sweet feed as a treat when proper behavior is exibited. The problem with this is although my mare LOVES sweet feed, she is older, and I see it come out in her poop, so I feed her a senior merit complete feed. This means that I do not have sweet feed handy in small quantities... I was wondering if regular cherrios or honey nut cherrios would be a safe/ or even effective alternative to sweet feed. Any opinions?

She , of corse loves apples and carrots, but i would like a less messy, but still palatable treat for the work we need to do together.
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Fran C
Member
Username: canter

Post Number: 2324
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 - 7:07 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Hmmm, cheerios are one thing I haven't tried to treat my horse with. I can't see any harm in a small amount of them as an alternative to sweet feed, although I can't imagine they are an "optimal" treat for a horse.

Question for you: is the work you are doing and want to reward her for with or without a bit in her mouth? If you are doing ground work (no bit) have you tried cutting the carrots or apples into little pieces? There's no doubt that a horse taking a bite out of a big apple leaves a slobbery mess, but cut the same apple into very small pieces (or a carrot) and the mess is considerably less...and goes a lot further.

If you are working under saddle and are concerned about getting your bit and bridle all sloppy, a sugar cube leaves minimal mess or the apple, peeled and cut small also doesn't make much mess and has the benefit of getting the horse gently chewing on the bit.
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rtrotter
Member
Username: rtrotter

Post Number: 712
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 - 7:27 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Cynthesize,

It is not necessary to use special treats when conditioning your horse. Just use her regular feed and then reduce what she would normally get for her meal.

When I clicker train my horses, very easy. I have a Fannie Pack that I fill up with feed and I keep my clicker in the outer pouch. I use the same amount every day and when the feed runs out, the training session is over.

A short dog story: We have two dogs, a German Shorthaired Pointer and a Basset Hound both weigh about 50 lbs. They are on a very controlled diet ( or so I thought) and they get Milkbone "treats" every day ( for large dogs). I never looked at the calorie count on the MilkBone package until recently when it surprised me to learn that the Milkbones had 125 calories per biscuit, the dogs were getting at least three biscuits a day each,
which means they were getting almost as much from the calories in the biscuits as they were from their controlled meal plan. While it didn't seem to affect the GSP ( She uses up the energy) the Basset hound was gaining weight ( not good for her short little legs)even though she was getting less food at dinner time.

I guess the moral of this is, when you are trying to keep everything feedwise to a certain point make sure you know what your horses diet really consists of and try to keep it the same even though it may seem weird to use her regular food as treats.

Clicker training works great, but in the beginning you have to be careful to reward very quickly the behavior you want. I do not start mine off training them for my desired behavior, but introduce them to the whole clicker experience by teaching them to target something. You can move forward quickly once you have established that they know what the clicker is, the clicker more or less becomes the reward and the wanted behavior gets longer and longer with less and less food rewards between clicks.

Alexandra Kurlander has some books and articles on this method of training. You can pick up clickers at your nearest Petco store.

Good luck
Rachelle
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DianE
Member
Username: scooter

Post Number: 6309
Registered: 9-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 - 7:43 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

When I was training Hank at Liberty I used alfalfa pellets, most horses love them. They are pretty easy to chew as long as you just give a few at a time.... just don't inadvertently make her "mouthy."

Like Rachelle I wear I pouch, he knows when he sees me wearing this we are going to "train" and looks forward to it. I just shake it and he comes running out of pasture to get to me. He has been made aware that this is JUST for training and reward for GOOD behavior, so he doesn't become Pushy and mouthy.
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Heidi M.
Member
Username: heidim

Post Number: 242
Registered: 1-2005
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 - 8:57 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Our horses love frosted mini wheats. We discovered this when a mouse invaded our cereal cupboard and chewed holes in the Malt-o-meal bags. The little biscuits are a nice size for training and a good followup to paste wormer, too.
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Cheryl K
Member
Username: cheryl

Post Number: 542
Registered: 2-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 - 10:01 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

My horses have been treated with apples, carrots, bananas, cantaloupe, watermelon, oranges, broccoli,cauliflower, frosted mini wheats, sweet feed, cinnamon, peppermint, clove, licorice,and ginger disks. Can't think of anything else I've used but there are probably some I've forgotten. For some reason I always thought they wouldn't like oranges - they love them - Clicker training is fun all the way around - they love it and so do I. It's just a fun way to train for behaviors you want.
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Vicki Z
Member
Username: vickiann

Post Number: 1845
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 - 10:24 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

A friend of mine uses jelly beans. I usually use rounds of carrots or mini-carrots or small pieces of T&A cubes.

Have you seen the new chocolate Cheerios? My husband very often puts chocolate sauce on his Honey Nut Cheerios so this new product sounds like a great idea (though maybe not for horses?)
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: mrose

Post Number: 5827
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 - 1:33 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Chocolate sauce on Cheerios???? OMG Vicki!! It makes me want to gag. What is it about men and sweets??

About the horse treats: if any of you are showing and use treats while at the showgrounds, or the day or two before, be very careful about what you are feeding is the show is a rated show, which means the stewards can drug test the horses. Some food colorings in candies, and some things in other prepared treats, human or horse, can have banned substances. It's safer to stick with fresh fruits, carrots, etc. when showing.
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Fran C
Member
Username: canter

Post Number: 2327
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 - 4:14 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Interesting, Sara..what banned substances show up in prepared treats? I had no idea that could happen and will be sure to bring along fresh fruits & veggies for this year's show season.
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Vicki Z
Member
Username: vickiann

Post Number: 1851
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 - 5:22 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Good to know, Sara. Thanks!
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Susie in AZ
Member
Username: sodmonst

Post Number: 263
Registered: 12-2008
Posted on Wednesday, Mar 24, 2010 - 11:10 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I never thought that I'd actually buy horse treats, but I did once on a whim. HB is wild for Manna Pro bite sized nuggets. I put a handful in snack-sized baggy and carry it in my pocket. He loves hearing me say, COOKIE?
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Anna-Marie (Fame)
Member
Username: npo33901

Post Number: 177
Registered: 9-2008
Posted on Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 - 6:37 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

I've heard, chocolate is bad/poison for horses ?!
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Vicki Z
Member
Username: vickiann

Post Number: 1856
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 - 6:20 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

I know that chocolate is bad/poison for dogs. It makes me a little nervous to feed things that are poisonous to dogs to my horses.
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: mrose

Post Number: 5831
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 - 7:37 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Fran, I'm not sure. I think some things found in some candies can be misread as some of the banned substances. I know I've had 3 different trainers not allow any hard candies, sugars or mints be fed to horses while at a show - only horse cookies, carrots and apples have been allowed. The reason given by all three was the possibility of drug testing.

If you are showing at non-USEF rated shows, it doesn't matter. I know the Arab shows at least are really "cracking down" (good thing imo) and are testing all championship winners routinely, and other horses at random. You are fined big time and owner and trainer are prohibited from showing for at least the remainder of the year. So, caution is the word.
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Cindy O'DELL
Member
Username: zarr

Post Number: 1489
Registered: 6-2000
Posted on Thursday, Mar 25, 2010 - 9:27 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

One of the greatest race horse Mr. John Henry Loved loved chocolate donuts.He raced as no other and made it to his 30s with lots of chocolate donuts on the side. :-)
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Fran C
Member
Username: canter

Post Number: 2330
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Friday, Mar 26, 2010 - 7:17 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Thanks, Sara. While I rarely feed Sparkles "junk food" , I always give her a peppermint as soon as I get her bridle on. It goes back to when I first bought her and she refused to take the bit - we hadn't worked out who was boss yet. I solved the problem by putting the peppermint in my palm so that when she reached for it, I could slip the bit in. It didn't take long before she eagerly reached for the bit with or without the peppermint, but it became a habit after all these years and I get a very reproachful look if I happen to forget. Hate to disappoint the old girl! Now I'm wondering if I shouldn't replace the peppermint with a sugar cube, at least when we show. I can't imagine how pure sucrose could be misread in a drug test (DrO??) as a lot of feeds have some sort of sugar in them (i.e. molasses).

I do agree though - cracking down on banned substances is a good thing. I was with a friend last year when she showed. She was randomly picked to have her horse tested. The vet tech waited forever to have Armani pee. We had a lovely chat with her as he took so long, she went and got a chair and had to sit outside his stall for, I think, at least 1 1/2 hours.
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rtrotter
Member
Username: rtrotter

Post Number: 720
Registered: 4-2008
Posted on Friday, Mar 26, 2010 - 9:24 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Racehorse training tip. Teach your horse to pee on command.

Anytime you see your horse stretch to pee, whistle. Doesn't have to be any tune in particular, just something he/she hears every time Then a verbal reward (you can click too). It doesn't take them long to learn that when you whistle, it means pee.

Rachelle
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Sara Wolff
Member
Username: mrose

Post Number: 5834
Registered: 1-2000
Posted on Friday, Mar 26, 2010 - 11:12 am:   Edit PostPrint Post

Rachelle, you beat me to it! LOL I was going to say that many of the top show horses are trained to pee at a whistle, as are a lot of endurance horses.
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Vicki Z
Member
Username: vickiann

Post Number: 1864
Registered: 3-2005
Posted on Friday, Mar 26, 2010 - 7:15 pm:   Edit PostPrint Post

Great training idea, Rachelle!
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