We've all probably seen when some riders "reward" their horses after a good barrel run or a flawless jumping course, etc. by slapping/whacking them on the neck, which they consider "patting"? Let me just say that in general, horses do not like that & it doesn't come across to them as a reward...horses like softness as a reward! A few rubs or strokes down the neck is waaaay more enjoyable and rewarding to them, not being whacked on the neck! Just like horses learn from the release of pressure, they seek that release, & that can also be a reward, for instance, if your horse is doing so well during a ride, just ease off all the pressure & leave them be for a couple moments, even if you're midstride in a canter, they will really appreciate the release & will likely continue on even better for you. It's all about the feel and the softness, as well as being quiet and gentle......just praise them by a gentle pat or rubbing/stroking their neck, your horse will thank you for it!