Snacks voor Valentijnsdag

[Click here for the English version of this article]

Geven is beter dan ontvangen. Hier zijn wat lekkere snack ideetjes voor je paard voor Valantijnsdag. Deze gezonde snacks kun je natuurlijk ook tijdens je clicker training gebruiken.

Wortel hartjes ~ Ingrediënt
Winterpeen of wortel

Snij met een schilmesje of je dunschiller een V-vormige geul over de gehele lengte van de peen. Snij daarna de peen in plakjes zodat je hartjes krijgt. Desgewenst kun je de vorm nog iets bijwerken.


Appel hartjes ~ Ingrediënt

Snij de appel in plakjes. Gebruik een hartvormige koekjessnijder of een schilmesje om hartjes uit te snijden. 



Als je echt iets speciaals voor je paard wilt maken, bak dan deze lekkere paardenkoekjes. 

Kaneel Koekjes voor paarden
Zonder de melasse zijn de koekjes suikervrij en geschikt voor alle paarden. De melasse is een lekkere variatie maar niet noodzakelijk om deze overheerlijke kaneelkoekjes te maken.

300 gram ongekookte (zilvervlies) rijst
140 gram gemalen lijnzaad (je kunt lijnzaad in een koffiemolen malen of ongemalen gebruiken)
3 eetlepels kaneel
65 gram bloem
130 ml melasse/stroop (variatie tip)

Verwarm de oven voor op 135 graden Celsius (275 graden Fahrenheit). Bekleed twee bakblikken met bakpapier. Kook de rijst maar zonder zout volgens de aanwijzingen. Laat enigszins afkoelen.

Mix alle ingrediënten tot een kleverig deeg. Maak met vochtige handen balletjes ter grootte van een knikker. Dit is erg arbeidsintensief.

Wil je sneller klaar zijn, rol het deeg dan met de deegroller uit over de twee bakblikken. Rol het deeg uit tot ongeveer 1 cm dikte. Snij de koek met een pizzasnijder of mes in kleine vierkantjes voor ze in de oven gaan.

Bak 60 minuten. Keer de koekjes om en bak nog eens 60 minuten. De koekjes moeten hard en knapperig zijn. Als ze nog een beetje zacht zijn, bak ze dan wat langer. Laat ze een uurtje afkoelen en uitharden als ze uit de oven komen.

Als ze goed gebakken zijn kun je ze enkele weken in de koelkast of vriezer bewaren. Er zitten immers geen conserveringsmiddelen in. Ik hoop alleen niet dat je ze weken wilt bewaren! Mijn paard Kyra is dol op deze koekjes (zonder de melasse).



Deze gezonde kaneelkoekjes zijn ook uitstekende cadeautjes voor je stalgenootjes.


Sandra Poppema
Bezoek mijn website voor persoonlijk advies of hulp bij clickertraining

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What to do if your horse is mugging you


In clicker training we use often treats as rewards. Why? Food is a primary reinforcer and therefor it motivates most horses. Giving treats as reward or as ‘pay’ for a well done job is highly motivating for the horse. Treats are easy to dispense, it’s a quick delivery and small enough to fit sufficient rewards for one session in your pocket.

One of my key lessons is to teach a horse how to behave around food and treats. What to do if your horse isn’t behaving very safe around food? Well, you can decide to find another reinforcer or better yet you can work on your horses behaviour. The first step is to make sure you are working safely. Getting mugged is no fun and losing a finger in the process is even worse.

Work with a barrier between you and your horse until your horse is behaving safely around food. Polite behaviour around food is one of the Key Lessons in clicker training.

Grabbing the treat

Some horses turn to mugging because they have lost treats in the past. This may have been because the handler dropped the food or pulled their hands back as the horse was reaching for it. They have adopted a get it while they can attitude. Sometimes its a phase and they just need to be taught proper table manners again.

Possible solutions

Make sure your horse knows the rule: first a click then a treat.

Only take a treat in your hand after the click. Never the other way around: take a treat, wait for the behaviour you want to reinforce and then click and treat. Always click first, then take and present the treat. This accomplishes three very important things which is why I repeat it so often:

  1. Your horse isn’t distracted by your filled hand and neither are you.
  2. Your horse has no reason to be nibbling or biting at you.
  3. With improper timing your hand reaching for the treat becomes the bridge instead of your click. Horses are incredibly perceptive and will pick up your behaviour before you realize it.

Always bring the treat to your horse, don’t invite the horse to come and get it. Use a stretched arm and deliver the treat near his mouth quickly and calmly after the click.

Deliver the treat directly at the lips of your horse, so he doesn’t have to be afraid he can’t reach it or he has to search for it.


Speed up your RoR (Rate of Reinforcement). Click and treat as soon as your horse is keeping his lips still and is not displaying the grabbing behaviour. If he is not using his teeth to get the treat, you can present the treat in a closed first. Wiggle your fist if he nibbles your hand, click and open your hand immediately if he stops moving his lips/mouth for a second or if he looks away.

Encourage (click) all the behaviour that you want: looking away when you put your hand in your pocket, keeping his mouth closed and lips still when you present a treat in a closed fist.


If your horse is using his teeth you can present the treats in a shallow food bowl or lightweight frying pan to prevent injury.


Some horses are better at taking large treats, eg big chunks of apple or whole (small) carrots to help reassure him that he gets the treat easily. Some horses will be encouraged to use their lips instead of their teeth if you give them smaller treats (grain). Try out different food sizes to find the one that works best for you and your horse.

Try a context shift for example you can feed your horse from above. Hold a large treat high so your horse has to keep his head up. He’s probably not used to taking a treat from above, so he has to use his lips and thus preventing him from using his teeth.


Have fun clicker training your horse and let me know how it goes.

Do you struggle with a horse that mugs you for treats or attention?

Do you wish your horse would behave better but you want can use some help?
Maybe your horse:

  • Paws for attention when he’s at the grooming place
  • Kicks his stall doors
  • Always is ‘in your pocket’ (and most often you wish he wasn’t like that)
  • Becomes pushy (or nibbles) when you have treats in your pockets
  • His mugging behaviours are holding you back from clicker training awesome, amazing or useful and safe behaviors

If you would like to learn where in your training you can improve so that you would get the results you want in clicker training, grap this opportunity to get a free Clicker Training Assessment!

After your assessment you know exactly what to improve and how you can avoid the pitfalls that keeps you stuck. You’ll know your next step and you’ll walk away with valuable insights about your training style.

More blogs about Mugging and how to re-train this

Sandra Poppema, B.Sc.
I help horse owners get the results in training they really, really want with joy and easy for both horse and human. I always aim for win-win in training in order to enhance the bond between horses and humans!
Join my mailing list to get more positive reinforcement training: HippoLogic’s website.

Does your horse have to “work” or does he have a “job” to do?

Work, this word has a negative association for a lot of people. “Work” has to be “hard”, “long” and involves “no fun” activities. If you are riding your horse or training him, do you refer to it as “work”? And what associations do you have with that word anyway? Think about it.

If Kyra “works” for me, it means that we are doing fun stuff, I invite her to be involved, I ask questions and she is entitled to have “an opinion” about her work. If she “complains”, that is a sign for me to be a better boss. In Dutch you refer to an owner as “boss” as well.

If she says “No” to one of my questions I want to figure out why and what I can do better in order to let her say “Yes”. My associations with the word work are “fun”, “learning” and above all it must be REWARDING in one way or the other.

I am convinced that people transfer their association that they might have with certain words to their horse. What emotions come up if I say: dentist, vet, trick training, trail riding? Are you yelling at the gate to your horse: “Come on the vet is here!”  Or: “Come on we are going on a trail ride!”

To me “work” means a lot of good things. I never say about my horse: “That’s her job. She has to do it, because that’s her job.” Kyra didn’t come to me for a job interview. So I am not convinced she wanted to sign up for whatever I have in mind. I have a lot planned in my mind. I am sure she didn’t want to hear about that when she was 11 months old. 😉

Yes, I pay my horse a good salary for doing a good “job”. She is a loyal employee and eager to work for and with me every day. If I give her a day off, she is NOT pleased. She doesn’t want to stay in the pasture when she can be working with me.

Sandra Poppema


R+, reward-based training and how to apply it on ME

Wow, the other day when I was walking my meditation walk in the woods it hit me! There is still something missing in my training own life and I discovered what it was… I was totally surprised. So simple and why didn’t I recognize this earlier?

A few months ago I rediscovered EFT (Emotional Freedom Tapping) / ‘tapping’. I’ve been ‘tapping’ like crazy to change certain mindsets that are keeping me back.

When I was walking in the beautiful rain forest near my house and became really settled down in my thoughts, I suddenly realized that I am still full of R- and Negative Punishment towards myself.

I am ‘beating myself up’ mentally about all kinds of things in order to get those things done or done better, faster and so Rewards aheadon. Doesn’t work on me, let me tell you that, but I still do it. I tried this approach to train my horse, but my stubborn pony didn’t want to work for me, if I treated him like that: become better first and maybe you get some reward… later.


Anyway, I started tapping on my inner critic and started to change my mindset to ‘reward the slightest try’ for myself to be a better spouse, mom, me, trainer, friend, blogger, business woman et cetera.

Using Reward-Based training on myself gives me the complete opposite feeling from nagging myself about things. I now feel very supported and loved by myself. And… things get done now. With a smile. And a satisfied feeling, too. I found an upwards spiral! Wow!

Focus op elke voortgang, focus on every progress

This pic says: ↖ REWARDS – PUNISHMENT ↘


Why did it have to take so many years to realize that I am still not applying R+ 100% on myself? Yes, I use it on my hubby, my son, my clients and total strangers with great results, but why was I not using it on me? Of course it is easier to see and appoint  progress in others than in yourself. I thought I did support myself, but when I was meditating in the woods I noticed that I was still criticizing me.

I kept telling myself that I hadn’t not yet reached perfection to earn a compliment or reward. Of course, it is just a coping system I learned when I was little. But it is never too late or too difficult to change, right? Now I have found the right tool, like EFT, to help me change now.

I can acknowledge every little step towards success in my process now and focus on that,Reward the slightest try instead of focusing on all the steps I have not reached yet.


One step at the time and I am doing a great job! Well done, Sandra!

Sandra Poppema

Secret of succes is ...






500+ LIKES on FB deserves a nice pic

Yesterday I received my 500th LIKE on my facebook page

I wanted to celebrate that lovely event by making a nice picture of Kyra holding up a flag with the text “500 FB LIKES”. She knows how to pick up things and retrieve, so I thought it wouldn’t be a big problem to make this happen. Of course is picking up and holding it something else than picking up + holding + ME TAKING A PICTURE.


Home made creation. A flag for Kyra to hold

Well, I kinda nailed it, anyway. 🙂


Holding up the flag

And here a little blooper: she just tried to “kill the flag” by stomping on it and give me a look like this:

Sandra Poppema


Is that look on her face worth a smile of what? 🙂