???s on cribbers - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 19 Old 07-18-2012, 07:34 PM Thread Starter
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???s on cribbers

I have a bunch of questions and reading the other articles on the forum have confused me. I'm looking at an OTTB who the owner says cribs. They say it is 100% controlled with a collar. He has been off the tract since october and is 24/7 turnout.

1) I will clarify with the owner but when someone says "cribbing" that doesn't mean chewing wood, right? One would assume we are talking about grabbing the wood and windsucking, correct? I see so many people talking about chewing wood when the article is titled cribbing. I understand that the wood gets damaged in the process but the horse isn't actively chewing and ingesting the wood as the goal of the activity?

2) He lives outside 24/7 so is it safe to keep a cribbing collar on the horse day and night? The people I have know have only used it when the horse is in their stall. It just seems dangerous to me, like they could get it caught on something and choke themselves, but I'm paranoid.

3) Is it a deal breaker for you when buying a horse? My trainer says it's not a big deal if the collar controls it but it seems like a terrible vice to me. I don't want to drive 2 & 1/2 hours to see him if its a deal breaker but I need to get the facts about it first.

Thanks!!

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post #2 of 19 Old 07-18-2012, 08:24 PM
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My last horse was a cribber. He wore a collar 24/7 and he was not in a stall all the time. We never had any problems with it, but I always made sure the straps had fleece over them so they wouldn't rub him raw. The collar was leather, so if he got hooked on something and pulled hard enough, it would break off. The collar stopped the cribbing for the most part, except for when it was off for too long, then he would start again until I put it back on. Cribbing is sucking the air out of the wood/metal/whatever object, NOT chewing it.
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post #3 of 19 Old 07-18-2012, 09:10 PM
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The DARE collar is a good option and doesn't rub like some of the others. It also doesn't have to be cranked tight to be effective.

That said, there are varying degrees of cribbing. And I truly think a lot of people confuse chewers with cribbers. Horses can be mild cribbers, ie when in stall or in stressful situations. And it escalates from there to 24/7 any location. Or as some old cowpokes put it "stump suckers" in which case your fence posts will be a favorite if they are wood.

Vets can determine the severity of damage and possibly severity of the habit from checking the teeth. If you go see the horse, look for signs of destruction in stall (wood, buckets, etc) and watch the horse turned out and in stall before and after it is worked.

I don't feel it's a deal breaker vice, if it's manageable.
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post #4 of 19 Old 07-18-2012, 09:23 PM
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Personally-I would never own another. Last one-was a slight cribber, "controlled with the collar"...yeah right. The collar gave him seizures when he acted goofy and stretched his neck coming out of his stall. After much $$ on diagnosing that the horse was fine, other than the bruises caused by falling out on the concrete aisle from this, and that the whole cause was the collar......he was sold (he was for sale anyway) and someone loves him dearly. I am grateful for that, but I have decided NEVER again. IT affects the value, controls where you can board, how they are kept........etc, etc. THEre are too many nice horses out there. THat said-it is a matter of opinion. There is NO such thing as a perfect horse. They all have some flaw. Just make sure it is one you can live with.

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post #5 of 19 Old 07-19-2012, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MySerenity View Post
I have a bunch of questions and reading the other articles on the forum have confused me. I'm looking at an OTTB who the owner says cribs. They say it is 100% controlled with a collar. He has been off the tract since october and is 24/7 turnout.

1) I will clarify with the owner but when someone says "cribbing" that doesn't mean chewing wood, right? One would assume we are talking about grabbing the wood and windsucking, correct? I see so many people talking about chewing wood when the article is titled cribbing. I understand that the wood gets damaged in the process but the horse isn't actively chewing and ingesting the wood as the goal of the activity?

2) He lives outside 24/7 so is it safe to keep a cribbing collar on the horse day and night? The people I have know have only used it when the horse is in their stall. It just seems dangerous to me, like they could get it caught on something and choke themselves, but I'm paranoid.

3) Is it a deal breaker for you when buying a horse? My trainer says it's not a big deal if the collar controls it but it seems like a terrible vice to me. I don't want to drive 2 & 1/2 hours to see him if its a deal breaker but I need to get the facts about it first.

Thanks!!
1- Yes, cribbing and wood chewing are separate vices, and a cribbing collar will not stop a wood chewer.

2- Not entirely sure. I imagine it's one of those things that is rarely a problem, but there are enough few horror stories out there to question taking the risk for your horse. My horse is kept stalled except for 3-4 hours of turnout daily. When he's turned out on grass the collar is taken off, but when he's in the dry lot it stays on (because he just stands at the gate and cribs if he doesn't have grass).

3- It wasn't a deal breaker for me, but it is for some people. When I got my horse a few months ago, the seller told me he "might" crib "a little." Talk about an understatement! I had the option to return him, but I couldn't imagine finding another horse like him anytime soon. I believe some of it was the stress of moving, but my vet also suspects he has/had ulcers when he came in. He's gotten much better about cribbing since then, and no longer constantly cribs if the stablehand forgets to put his collar back on after turnout.

In case you don't already know, OTTBs have an extremely high rate of ulcers. If he needs to wear a cribbing collar while on 24/7 turnout, I'd say the odds are pretty good that this one has them (or some other medical issue). If the underlying cause is treated, odds are he will at least crib less often, but he may never stop completely if he's been doing it for a while. Ulcer treatment isn't cheap, so that may be a factor in your decision of whether or not to buy him more so than the cribbing itself.
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post #6 of 19 Old 07-19-2012, 03:42 PM
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cribbing is a deal breaker for me.
There is a gelding named Samson in the pasture with Drifter who is a BAD cribber. His owner has replaced multiple fence rails (adding to her board) that he has chewed up, and he has coliced due to the cribbing 4 times in the past year :/
His teeth are also very messed up. Everytime the herd is up by the barn Samson is in his corner at "his spot" cribbing. I have even seen him crib while she was riding him!

Also, keep in mind that even if cribbing does not bother you personally, it might exclude your horse from certain boarding facilities. The facility I rode at in high school did not allow cribbers since it is seen as a potentially "contagious" habit. If a horse started cribbing while being boarded the owner had 3 months to fix it themselves, have the BO fix it, or to find another barn.
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post #7 of 19 Old 07-19-2012, 11:03 PM
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^^^ This is true around my area as well. Some barns in this area won't allow it. One lady even went as drastic as getting the surgery... which, mind you, didn't help.

I wouldn't buy a cribber. My barn mates mare was such a horrendous cribber she looked like a stud, her neck was so big. She couldn't sell that darn mare for nothing. It was a real shame. She was truly a lovely little mare, cribbing aside.

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post #8 of 19 Old 07-19-2012, 11:54 PM
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That would be a deal breaker for me. The sound of a horse cribbing just grates on my nerves.
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post #9 of 19 Old 07-20-2012, 07:57 AM
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Deal breaker
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post #10 of 19 Old 07-20-2012, 10:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DriftingShadow View Post
Also, keep in mind that even if cribbing does not bother you personally, it might exclude your horse from certain boarding facilities. The facility I rode at in high school did not allow cribbers since it is seen as a potentially "contagious" habit. If a horse started cribbing while being boarded the owner had 3 months to fix it themselves, have the BO fix it, or to find another barn.
That's a good point. I'm fortunate enough that my barn allows my horse there, and has even done modifications to his stall to make it more crib-proof (for example, they moved the corner feeder down to about knee level. It used to be his favorite spot, but I haven't seen him crib there since!) The only thing left is his waterer, which is mounted in the wall so that it's shared between his stall and the next one over. That's a much harder modification, but I think I'm going to ask if it would be possible to move that as well...
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