Feeding your horse treats can be beneficial as a training tool and reward. Treats can be used as part of positive reinforcement which horses respond well to due to the way they learn. Research studies by Innes and McBride (2007) and Warren-Smith and McGreevy (2008) have shown that positive reinforcement can enhance learning and the motivation to learn. Using treats in this way can help create a cooperative and willing horse whilst strengthening the human – horse relationship.
Additionally, offering treats in a snack ball or similar can be beneficial for stabled horses as they help promote natural foraging behaviour (Henderson and Warren, 2001; Winskill et al. 1996). Encouraging this natural foraging can help reduce stress, resulting in a calmer, happier horse.