I doubt that Pie had ever been hand-fed treats before I got him. I do feed my horses treats, but I have rules about what they can do when they get a treat, and I use feeding treats as a building block for using clicker training for other things. I'm certainly no clicker expert and haven't used clicker too much yet, although Dawn and I have made very good use of clicker in helping her deal with scary objects. A couple of days ago, I discovered that she's quite terrified of the noise made by an aerosol can when you use it. So we've started using clicker to help her with that. At the first session, all I did was hold the can out to her and click and treat as she approached it with her nose - she got as far as stretching her neck as long as it would go and just barely touching it with her nose. That was more than enough for one day, and we'll keep working on it. The thing I like about clicker is that the horse gets to make a choice and decide how quickly to proceed, which is just the right approach in my mind for dealing with things that are scary. (If anyone's interested in clicker work, I'd highly recommend Alexandra Kurland's books, particularly The Click That Teaches: A Step-By-Step Guide in Pictures.)
Back to Pie - now that he understands that treats are edible, we're working on his treat-taking manners. He was clearly one of those horses who was going to turn into a "mugger" if not trained - the type that is pushy about treats and frisks you all over - not what I had in mind. So now, to get a treat, he has to take a step backwards and wait for me to give it to him. When he does, I click and treat. Right now, I'm using a hand signal - just raising my hand, palm out - to signal him to take a step back. Pretty soon, I don't think the hand signal will be needed any more, as he's a very quick learner and pays close attention. Once this behavior is well-established, we can use clicker for other things - I'm thinking of teaching him to hold up his own hind feet for picking and hoof care - he's one of those horses who puts his whole weight on the foot as you hold it, which I'm not fond of.
In the ongoing search for solutions to Dawn's downhill build and the resulting problems with saddle fit, I bought a Mattes correction pad. (I was at the saddle shop for other reasons and this pad was just lying out on top of a display where someone had abandoned it - it seemed to be just waiting for me.) This pad has four pockets - two in front and two in back - into which you can insert foam shims as needed. Dawn will need shimming in front to raise the front of the saddle. The Mattes pad I got doesn't have fleece at front or back, but is all-purpose so it should work with either my Rodrigo close contact or Kieffer dressage saddle. Mine came with the shims included (the one I linked to seems to require you to purchase the shims separately). I'm not a big fan of using padding to fix a saddle that otherwise doesn't fit, particularly as padding can often make the problem worse, but in Dawn's case it may be necessary. If the weather improves, we may try it out soon. Here's hoping for a warm up and a drop in the wind!