When your horse is extra good and just makes you glow with appreciation for his/her tremendous effort, how do you praise him?
Do you give a release (which is the most basic praise/reward for any horse)?
Do you give him a pat?
Do you say "good boy!!"?
I ask because when Lucy is a good girl, I make a huge deal out of it, and she responds so sweetly, arching her neck and getting a bit prance-y and in general clearly appreciating the reward. I usually do all three of the above but really say "good horse! good girl!" in a sing-song voice. I also use my voice to let her know when she's been bad, and trust me, she knows the difference.
I have gotten some strange looks from fellow boarders when I make a big deal out of her good behaviour, like "good grief, shut up already!" but at the same time I've noticed that the most praise that they give their horses is a brief pat on the shoulder.
I also take a moment after I get off after every ride to give Lucy a bit of love before I take her in the barn, and say "hey, thanks for carting my butt around for 45 minutes".
Of course at the end of the day, all she wants are treats, and lots of them. No matter how I show her I love her and am happy with her, she's like, well that's nice, but do I get a peppermint?!