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Cribbing? Help!

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    04-18-2013, 02:45 AM
Green Broke
Originally Posted by Cat    
Another thing is put hotwire up. Some horses LIKE the taste of peppers and such - so you can't count on those as a deterrent. But most don't like a shock from hotwire.
We do have an electric fence up and running...problem is that she finds the few areas on the fence where she can fit her muzzle in and doesn't get shocked -_-
Originally Posted by franknbeans    
BO may be busy, but will soon be even busier replacing stuff this horse has destroyed. She needs to deal with it. Most likely this is why the horse is back, I would guess.....some places will not tolerate this.
You're partially right...the barn didn't kick her out because of the cribbing, they kicked her out because of what caused the cribbing. She was back because the barn used horses for disabled children and they were using this horse, however, the horse got bored a lot and decided to lie down and roll while the kids were on her. I don't blame her, really, I mean she never got taken out or ridden or anything so she might as well lie down and enjoy herself right? Well obviously they didn't like that so they kicked her out and she went back to our place.
Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman    
I agree 100% with loosie on this one.
It is a stereotypical behaviour caused by people.
I had horses stalled next to and across from cribbers, but mine didn't learn it from them.
I believe if others start too, it's a management problem.
OP said it herself, horse eats well, but as soon as there's no food, it starts again.

If there are more than one other horse starting to chew on fences, I'd check if there are vit/mins missing in their diets, or just not enough chew time.
I've seen an owner who kept his cribber in a 10x10 stall with every surface hot-wired. Horse was terrified 24/7 and sucked wind without touching a surface.
It's true about the vit/mins...I was cleaning her stall one day and realized that her salt block was rolled into the next pen so I brought it back over to hers and she was licking it like crazy for a while and I was SO excited because I thought I had fixed the problem...NOPE she finished after a few mins and went right back to her fence. GRR.
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    04-18-2013, 03:28 AM
We too have a cribber at our barn and he's been doing it for years. Now, the BO is getting frustrated with all the destruction to the wood. The horse has a metal collar but has figured a way around it and can turn it around and move it out of position. We were always resetting it as the owner does't visit often. It's frustrating for sure. This horse seems to increase his behaviour when he sees other horses being fed.
Cheyennes mom likes this.
    04-18-2013, 11:59 AM
My horse cribs; from what I've been able to piece together he started as a baby. His breeder doesn't stall his horses, but he does feed them low-quality all-stock sweet feed. There is evidence that feeding high sugar feeds to weanlings increases the occurrence of cribbing, and there may also be a genetic component. I don't know if his dam cribs or not, but I wouldn't be surprised.

I've used both the Miracle Collar and Dare Collar, and liked the Dare collar much more. The Miracle Collar kept stretching out, which led to confusion with the barn staff as to what hole to adjust it to; it also had to be adjusted really tight on the front strap, which not only made me feel bad, but also left rubs and started rubbing off his forelock even with the fleece covers. The Dare collar is brain-dead easy to put on, so much better for the barn staff. It did eventually start to rub, and I no longer use it regularly for that reason. He's broken a couple corner feeders, which I replaced, and we mounted the newest one lower so it is no longer as attractive to cribbing on (though I've seen him crib on things that low when nothing else was available). As of now, the only thing he's damaging is his teeth...

With a heavy cribber, there's probably something actively bothering him (ulcers, for example). Since he's not your horse there's little you can do about it. Requiring the owner to put on a collar and suggesting that she look into possible causes for the incessant cribbing are probably about all you can do.
    04-18-2013, 12:20 PM
Green Broke
You will NEVER get this horse to quit cribbing, but you can try to help her slow it down. I've seen horses crib on the side of doors, metal fences, trees, etc

LOTS of turn out in a large area. Using a 2 or 3 foot pieces of wood make the electric fence stick out so she can't get by the wood. Put the wire across the gate too. McNasty or hot sauce on the spots that she finds to crib on. Take out all the feed buckets and replace them with pans. Drop the water buckets low by her knees.

Now when you make it extremely difficult to crib by taking away, blocking off, or making it gross you HAVE TO give her something to do!!!!!!! Turn out, turn out, turn out! You'd crib too if you were locked in a stall. Lots of hay, give her some friends (especially playful ones if she will tolerate them), and horse toys. The toys I love are The Amazing Graze and Uncle Jimmy's hanging balls, lik-it's are pretty good too. You can throw small apple pieces, carrots, cherrios, etc in the amazing graze. Cheaper things may be apple's on a rope hung on a tree branch, just make sure they can't pin it against something (same with the Jimmy ball). Getting her tired could also help, she will hopefully want to rest more then crib.
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deserthorsewoman likes this.
    04-18-2013, 12:24 PM
Green Broke
I did not read everything, I would ask the BO to insist that a collar that works be worn at all times. Besides destroying property, as you know, other horses learn this behavior. I would also request for your horse to be moved as far away from the cribber as possible.
I had a colt that went off to the vets for hernia surgery, stayed 3 days and came back cribbing, taught his mama to crib, and my TB, and one other horse. So over the course of 15 years we always had at least one horse that cribbed in the barn. I was never so glad as when the last cribber had to be PTS at my place.

Buying a new horse, that is the one thing that would be a total and absolute deal breaker for me.

That noise drives me totally crazy.
    04-18-2013, 01:00 PM
There's no scientific evidence that cribbers learn to crib from each other. It bothers me to no end that people spread this idea with nothing but anecdotal evidence to back it up.

There are 75 stalls in the barn where I board. There's a lesson horse who's been there for years who cribs constantly. My horse and a couple other boarders horses also crib to varying degrees. All came in cribbing already. They've never had another horse pick up the habit at that barn, despite exposure to other cribbers, limited turnout, and not having free choice hay (all considered environmental factors that "cause" cribbing)

There is scientific data that there's a genetic predisposition; a horse who has never cribbed, but has the predisposition, might seem to pick it up out of nowhere after a stressful event. TB's have the highest prevalence of cribbing.
    04-18-2013, 01:41 PM
Green Broke
Sorry that my post, "bothered you no end", but I have had experiences contrary to yours. Whether the horses had a predisposition to cribbing, really is no nevermind to me.
The fact is that the colt never cribbed before he went to surgery, neither did the mare. My TB and the other horse never cribbed before they came to my barn and were stabled with a cribber.
Now I did have other horses in the barn that never picked up the habit. However I have no idea what their genetic make up was.
So I believe that a horse can learn or copy another horse.
Cat likes this.
    04-18-2013, 01:59 PM
Green Broke
I have to agree with taffy.

We had a large TB/draft cross and a paint in a paddock together. Neither were ever cribbers. Then we put in a QH who was a pretty intense cribbed. Sure enough the cross picked up the habit and now wears a cribbing collar. The paint started chewing wood and pulling buckets.Thankfully I don't think he figured it out.

Fast forward a few years and the same cribber is now out with a young QH mare and an older appy. Guess who started this time? The QH mare, at the tender age of 3.

There was NO diet change. All were fed high quality hay and grain (not over fed either). They are all turned out 24/7, barring we aren't getting a hurricane or blizzard. Nothing changed except for the addition of the cribber.

Will a cribber teach every single horse every time, probably not. But I certainly wouldn't want my non cribbing horse in there with a cribber. It's just not something I'm willing to risk.
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Taffy Clayton likes this.
    04-18-2013, 03:11 PM
Green Broke
And I've already shared my personal experience with a horse picking up cribbing-like habbits from a cribber. The other 2 horses showed no interest in it, but that one 4 year old sure tried immitating him on various materials as well and its highly suspicious his behavior went away within weeks of that one heavy cribber left my property.

It was enough to make me believe that some horses may pick it up from another cribber that they live with and see. All horses? Not at all, but what if a horse has a genetic disposition for cribbing like it is suggested by some - would that not possibly put that horse at higher risk of starting cribbing when exposed to another cribber?
    04-20-2013, 10:30 PM
I agree with Cat, SlideStop, and Taffy. I've worked at a lesson barn where horses came and went all the time. They have horses that had been on the farm since their birth and for some reason most developed the habit of cribbing. These horses have been given THE best care and there would be no medical reason to develop the habit. I believe they saw another horse do it and learned. At my current barn, a horse windsucks and the mare's owner said she knows her mare learned it from a previous pasturemate.

I own a cribber. He is an OTTB and has ulcers. I purchased him a little over a month and half ago, so I am still learning his personality and working him through this habit. He cribbed when you gave him a treat, rode him, and he cribbed after each meal. We started treating his ulcers but the habit didn't go away, so I'm thinking its a permanent thing. Although, I've added TractGard to his SmartPak and we are waiting to see if it works. He currently wears the Miracle Collar and it has helped! He no longer hangs around the barn so he has quick access to crib. He goes all the way out with herd and spends all day grazing.

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