The late former director of the "Spanish Riding School of Vienna"
Quoted from the "Riding Teacher" Podjasky says:
If he [the horse] shies form any objects, specks of light, etc, and does not pay attention to the rider, he should be allowed to take a look at these objects. The teacher leads him up to them, talking to him and rewarding him with sugar when he approaches.
Even if it has to be repeated several times, this method is the surest way to success and much better than even the slightest punishment” (1974 p. 93).
The trainers of the Vienna school use sugar contained in small sacks underneath their jackets to immediately reward the airs above the ground, courbette, levade, ballotade, and capriole. This may be seen during the live performance and on the videos.
The work of the Spanish Riding School demonstrates the power of primary reinforcement that has been quietly used for more than 50 years with horses.