Cribbing rings: anyone used them? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 15 Old 06-27-2012, 06:12 PM Thread Starter
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Cribbing rings: anyone used them?

I came across this article (Cribbing Rings: Cruel Or Effective? | The Chronicle of the Horse) that talks about cribbing rings. Since my horse cribs almost non-stop when not wearing his collar, it sounded interesting.

Doing a little bit more research, there are definitely different opinions on whether or not these are painful to the horse (other than when cribbing, when it is meant to be painful...) or lead to other health issues, like rot damage to the teeth near where they are inserted in the gum.

Has anyone used them on their horse or know someone who has? My horse is due for his dental exam/float next week, and I was already planning on asking if I should take extra measures to protect his teeth from his cribbing. I'll also ask the vet about her opinion on cribbing rings.

He already wears a collar, but he's boarded, and sometimes his collar doesn't get put back on correctly after turnout. He also gets rotated between pasture and dry lots for turnout, and when he's on the dry lot all he does is stand at the gate (only part of the fence that's not electrified) and crib, so I've had to give instructions to leave the collar on anytime he's not out on grass

Cribbing rings:
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post #2 of 15 Old 06-27-2012, 08:05 PM
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I'd think that the obvious solution would be to have him on grass 24/7 rather than inflicting pain for a vice. Cribbing doesn't damage the teeth enough to warrant that IMO.

If the cribbing collar isn't always properly applied, how could you rely on the wounds being cleaned as frequently as required?
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post #3 of 15 Old 06-27-2012, 08:24 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by AlexS View Post
I'd think that the obvious solution would be to have him on grass 24/7 rather than inflicting pain for a vice. Cribbing doesn't damage the teeth enough to warrant that IMO.

If the cribbing collar isn't always properly applied, how could you rely on the wounds being cleaned as frequently as required?
Pasture 24/7 is not an option. Also, he developed the cribbing habit before he was ever stalled, so even that would not stop it.

Although I am concerned about the damage to his teeth, I'm even more concerned about gas colic. Then there's the damage to the property... he's already destroyed a corner feeder, and one of these days he's going to tear down some wall boards cribbing on the waterer.

I wouldn't be relying on the barn help to keep the rings clean- I could make it to the barn every day to clean them while the heal. It doesn't sound like that should be more than a week or two (kind of like when you get your ears pierced).

As I mentioned, I'll be asking my vet (who specializes in dentistry) about it next week, but I'd really appreciate first hand experience.
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post #4 of 15 Old 06-28-2012, 01:50 AM
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Well, I haven't had any experience with crib biting... But I did have braces once, and that really hurt... I can imagine the rings aren't very comfortable. I also think that the horse might start cribbing again once they're removed.
Is there a reason you can't keep his collar on? Have you tried that crib stop stuff?
Hope it works out (:
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post #5 of 15 Old 06-28-2012, 10:51 AM
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Pour diesel or old oil on the spots he cribs on.
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post #6 of 15 Old 06-28-2012, 01:14 PM
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I have never heard of cribbing rings until you posted this, so I have no first hand experience. But I just have to say it looks painful. And a pierced ear goes through skin. This will be going into the bone of their jaw (I assume) or at the very least their gums.

So I dunno, but it looks like the cure is worse than the vice. What if they got caught on something? I know my horses are always nibbling on objects that something like that could get caught on.
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post #7 of 15 Old 06-28-2012, 01:28 PM
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I have a student with a really nice Selle Francaise mare who cribs....badly. She did try the rings. While they worked, initially, her gums started to recede too much and they were removed. So, in this case they failed due to secondary problems.

I would get your horse scoped to check for ulcers. They tend to be one cause for cribbing.

If she doesn't have them, a collar is still the only solution. I would get several different styles and change them often. When you swap, thoroughly clean and condition the one removed so that it is soft and ready the next time it is used. Every collar will rub. Different collars fit differently, so the rubs will be different keeping them from progressing.
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post #8 of 15 Old 06-28-2012, 05:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Allison Finch View Post
I have a student with a really nice Selle Francaise mare who cribs....badly. She did try the rings. While they worked, initially, her gums started to recede too much and they were removed. So, in this case they failed due to secondary problems.

I would get your horse scoped to check for ulcers. They tend to be one cause for cribbing.

If she doesn't have them, a collar is still the only solution. I would get several different styles and change them often. When you swap, thoroughly clean and condition the one removed so that it is soft and ready the next time it is used. Every collar will rub. Different collars fit differently, so the rubs will be different keeping them from progressing.
Did the gums recede because of the rings, or from something else? That definitely sounds like a serious side effect!

My vet did suspect ulcers when I first got him (from the cribbing, girthiness, and being underweight). Per her advice, I've been feeding him a grain-free diet, supplementing U-Gard, and giving him a slow feeder net whenever I'm there (unfortunately the stable hands won't refill it for me). He's up to a healthy weight, is only a little grouchy while being girthed, and no longer cribs while he's eating, which are all very nice improvements. From what I understand, though, long-time cribbers almost always continue cribbing even after the initial underlying cause is gone.

Rotating through different styles sounds like an excellent idea. While I had considered buying the Dare cribbing collar because it doesn't have a front strap, I hadn't really thought of keeping multiple ones around to rotate through them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bobthebuilder View Post
Well, I haven't had any experience with crib biting... But I did have braces once, and that really hurt... I can imagine the rings aren't very comfortable. I also think that the horse might start cribbing again once they're removed.
Is there a reason you can't keep his collar on? Have you tried that crib stop stuff?
Hope it works out (:
Yeah, I had braces when I was in high school, and it definitely wasn't fun. I imagine that cribbing rings are a different style of pain, though A lot of the articles make it sound like after the initial soreness from piercing the gums is done, the horses ONLY experience discomfort when they're cribbing. I've heard the same thing about cribbing collars, but I can't imagine that having a tight strap on your head with a tab in your throat all the time is very comfortable, either.

I haven't tried the crib stop stuff, mostly because he gets rotated through different paddocks for turnout each day, so it's not very practical. In his stall, he mostly cribs on his waterer and I'm hesitant to put anything on it that might get into the water and discourage him from drinking.
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post #9 of 15 Old 06-28-2012, 06:30 PM
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I know somebody that tried that on her "realling into cribbing on anything" horse.


It was not successfull on the long term.


Those things can only be left in for a certain amount of time. The vet that puts them in has to also take them out --- after a certain period of time.


The horse did stop cribbing while he was wearing the rings and continued to stop cribbing for only a few weeks after removal. Within a month's time he was back to cribbing.


I am pretty sure the vet refused to put the rings back in and other vets in our area wouldn't touch the idea with a ten foot pole.
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post #10 of 15 Old 06-28-2012, 06:43 PM
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I had a horse that was a bad cribber. I found as long as I kept a cribbing strap on he was fine. The rings look harsh to me I think the look painful also and if they just have to be taken out it seems like a waste of money
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