My horse is driving me nuts with CRIBBING!

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Sassymygirl, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. Sassymygirl

    Sassymygirl Miss Equestrian

    Sep 16, 2008
    Carencro, Louisiana
    My horse, Breago is a BIG TIME cribber! He does it on anything he can stick his teeth on to! I once found him cribbing on my saddle! Nothing stops him. He has a very $$$ cribbing collar, it seems to help, but then again, it doesn't! He mostly does it on the wooden fence posts and his stall door, is there anything I can put on them?

  2. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer Premium Member

    May 11, 2010
    Is he sucking wind or eating wood?
  3. Sassymygirl

    Sassymygirl Miss Equestrian

    Sep 16, 2008
    Carencro, Louisiana
    Quote:Sucking wind.
  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Not much you can do for some of them, IME. More turnout (except for the very rare horse who is actually stressed by getting much turnout) and lots of small hay meals (so hay is usually in front of the horse) and a lot of experimentation with exact adjustment of different types of cribbing collars sometimes helps. But, not always.

    Some horses just get it too ingrained to change. I'm not convinced it's the most humane thing to try to stop them from doing it, unless they are colicking from it or on the verge of grinding their front top teeth completely away. For horses that DO have to be stopped cribbing for medical reasons, you can try bitter apple or electric hotwires (in the paddock, obviously, NOT in the stall), or there are various patented thingamajiggies intended to be put atop stall doors to make cribbing impossible or awkward (and which mostly do not work well IME).

    Chiefly though IMO it is better to accept that the occasional horse just "gotta" crib to be pseudo-happy, and let him do it reasonably safely. Install very heavy-gauge metal edges on stall doors etc so he can't wear the wood down, etc.

    Good luck,

  5. Brody's Broodello

    Brody's Broodello Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 9, 2009
    Have you treated him for Ulcer's. You can treat with Gastroguard. That really helps slow down cribber's. You can also feed Quitt for horses that chew wood, I have found it to help slow a cribber down as well. Have done both and had a pony who started to crib actually stop, with this treatment. She does where a color, but VERY loose. it actually moves all over the place, but it is just a mental reminder for her, I have enen not put it on for several days with out her starting up again. Good luck, the last thing to try is a grazing muzzle, if all else fails.
  6. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

    Jun 8, 2008
    NE Michigan
    Turnout, like Pat said is usually the biggest help

    Does he get exercise on a regular basis?
  7. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 15, 2008
    Turnout, toys (a milk/water jug full of grain and tied with bailing twine by the handle is highly entertaining and free) , unlimited hay or beet pulp, more exercise... Some horses will still crib. I had a gelding who was stalled all the time until I got him at 8years old. The habit was so strong that he'd crib on the top of t posts despite 24/7 turnout in a large field with a small herd and would make his nose bleed if wearing a cribbing collar. In a stall he'd crib on water buckets or feeders and if you coated it in something bad tasting he'd just use the metal bars to the top of the stall. We put plywood sheets across the inside of his stall with a free standing rubber feeder, hay on the ground, and since we never stall over 12 hours we do not leave water buckets in the stalls. They are offered drinks periodically between turnout.
  8. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2010
    He may have ulcers, and that can be treated, but it won't necessarily stop him from cribbing even if he does have ulcers and they are treated. He may need more turnout - most horses do. But again, that won't necessarily stop him from cribbing. Sometimes it is the other horses, not the turnout per se, that helps with cribbing. When they're out they have more to do - being in a solitary paddock away from the herd might make for more cribbing - as there is less to do.

    Most horses crib or windsuck for no reason at all. There is nothing wrong with them, and it does them no harm. They crib or wind suck because they enjoy it, it causes endorphins to release and literally does make them feel good.

    Many are 'busy' horses that like to be doing something with their mouths. Some are from energetic bloodlines that are just plain busy. They may get the habit from getting weaned early, according to some old timers. Making them stop makes them unhappy and can cause other 'displacement' habits because they are not getting to do their thing. I personally think it's cruel to try to make them stop, I'd rather give them a place to do it and forget about it.

    So in general, how I view it: he's happy cribbing, let him crib. He will bevel his front teeth if he does it a lot but that doesn't interfere with grazing. Areas you don't want worn can be covered with metal or made smooth, but be sure it's very heavy stuff, not flimsy sheets that can cause dangerous injuries - don't make the cure worse than the disease, as they say.

    Outdoors, if he likes to crib on fences, put a light weight electric 'string' above the boards he likes to crib on and keep it hot, that will direct him over to 'his place'. Some nice heavy solidly anchored down oak boards that can be replaced over time as he wears them down.

    We have one that doesn't suck or crib, but has a 'restless mouth', what we do is give her stuff to do to keep her busy, and just let her be who she is.
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010
  9. Sassymygirl

    Sassymygirl Miss Equestrian

    Sep 16, 2008
    Carencro, Louisiana
    Thanks for the replies everyone, he's on turnout with 4 other horses 24/7 and I ride him everyday. I guess I'll start treating him for ulcers. From what y'all are saying, it sounds like hes doing it for no reason. I really haven't had any health problems with him, but I'll just start treating him for ulcers now on.

    One more question, cribbing won't damage his teeth, will it?
  10. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Be aware that Gastro-gard (like other treatments) is not cheap. (e.t.a. - to get a sense of current prices I looked online and it seems like for the standard dose of one tube per day for 4 weeks you are looking at something in the neighborhood of $1200)

    Cribbing will wear down their front top teeth somewhat -- whether it is minor and unimportant, or causes them to get worn down to nubbins/nothing when the horse is merely middle-aged, depends entirely on the individual horse. How dedicated and constant a cribber he is, and his style of cribbing, and what he is cribbing *on*. For most horses it is not a huge problem.

    Last edited: Dec 9, 2010

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