Chewing on trees

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Chewing on trees

This is a discussion on Chewing on trees within the Horse Health forums, part of the Keeping and Caring for Horses category
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  • Horses cribbing on tree

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    09-17-2011, 12:23 PM
Chewing on trees

So the other day I went outside and I had saw that my horses had stripped most to of the bark of the bottom of this one small tree.
Is that because they aren't getting enough of something? Cribbing? Or just boredom? Should I be worried?
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    09-17-2011, 12:51 PM
It could be cribbing and/or boredom. A lot of horses will crib just because well, they don't got much to do in the field. I wouldn't worry tooooo too much, but maybe invest in a good quality cribbing brace/collar and see if it stops. You said the bottom of the tree was stripped? Horses generally won't bend down to crib, they'd rather do so on a level branch or fence so that their neck arches and the air gets to their stomach. Cribbing can cause stomach ulcers so I'd get the a salt lick/ jolly ball/ lickit and pour some tree-friendly crib-deterrent or hot sauce on the tree.
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    09-17-2011, 01:04 PM
Green Broke
Oh my horses do it all the time out of boredom and my Fjord does it i'm pretty sure because she will try and eat anything lol. My Fjord chews the bottom of the trees and will actually chew right through like a beaver until the thing comes down!
My other mare will only chew on it if it is already lying down and only if she's SUPER bored.
    09-17-2011, 02:57 PM
Does the horse have good grazing or hay?

My guy will eat leaves and bark if he doesn't have hay or grass when he is turned out.
    09-18-2011, 01:38 AM
Get the horses some bouncy balls or other horse toys.
    09-18-2011, 05:42 AM
It could be boredom, but be careful not to read too much into it.
Some trees just taste good and horses spend most of their day chewing to begin with. Put a bunch of horses in with some nice maple trees in the early spring when the sap is flowing and you'll see them stripped of bark in no time at all.
If you're trying to grow most trees in with horses, you pretty much need to fence them off or wrap the trunks to keep them alive.
    09-18-2011, 08:09 AM
Could just be a bad habit.
My first mare, I picked her up from her previous owners, and on the way home we stopped at the tack shop, tied her up outside, and she took some big chunks out of their wooden fence.
Brought her home, gave her all the hay she could eat, grained twice daily, rode 5-7 hours most days (nice being a high schooler...), and she kept eating the trees.
Got her a friend, and she still continued eating the trees.
Put chicken wire up around all the trees in her field, which helped, but she'd push the chicken wire out of the way to continue to get at them.
Painting the no-chew stuff on didn't do anything at all.
Cribbing collars and such don't help for chewing.
When I later had to board her, I HAD to make sure anywhere I took her did not use wooden fences.
She never stopped chewing wood until the day she passed on, no matter what we tried. It was apparently just part of her (kind of like I will probably chew my nails until the day I pass on ).

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