the truth behind Cribbing!!?? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-19-2012, 09:11 PM Thread Starter
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the truth behind Cribbing!!??

my horse and I need help. I had my Tb gelding for 2 weeks now to find out that he is a cribber. I've been doing my recherche on it and theyre seem to be 2 different theries on it!!

1: its a bad habit, developed when the horse is bored or stressed ( he was in a stall for most of the time at his last home ) but now his turned out 24/7

2: its a digestive problem, and cribing helps them with that issue

which one is it if its even an of these to reasons, id really like to help Manny stop cribing cause i know it can lead to colic any suggestion is much appreciated

p.s i dont really believe or like the idea of a cribing colar so thats kindove out of the question.

thanks guys:)

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post #2 of 11 Old 10-19-2012, 09:13 PM
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From what I can remember, cribbing usually arises out of boredom but becomes a habit when horses become addicted to the endorphine release they get from it. I have a 25-yr old cribber that's done it for 22 years. I keep a Miracle Collar on him at night but find that even with the fleece cover, it's really itchy, so I limit the time it's on for.
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-19-2012, 09:17 PM Thread Starter
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Manny seems to nly crib once his done eating idk if that makes a difference?

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post #4 of 11 Old 10-19-2012, 09:19 PM
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once a cribber always a cribber
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-19-2012, 09:31 PM Thread Starter
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oh no!! dont say that!

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post #6 of 11 Old 10-19-2012, 09:41 PM
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The current research into cribbing suggests its a combination of genetics and environment, especially during foal hood and weaning. Studies have shown a high correlation between providing grain to foals and weanlings and the development of cribbing. TBs are over represented in cribbing studies because they are routinely creep fed when foals and are weaned onto a grain diet.

It is believed that cribbing increases the amount of saliva going to the stomach which buffers it against acid damage from gastric juices. It is also believed that horses which crib experience a dopamine release when they crib which is addictive so they crib more.

Whatever the underlying cause, cribbing is a sign that the horse has had its welfare compromised in the past. Of all the "vices" it is the most resistant to extinction and many horses will continue to crib even when they have constant access to pasture or are fed a high fibre diet.

Cribbing collars have serious welfare issues in themselves- they can lead to sores and fascial bruising because they have to be done up so tight, and if they prevent the horse from cribbing- which is a coping behaviour, without the causes being addressed then the horse is likely to be more stressed than if allowed to crib. A recent study found that when horses were prevented from cribbing and fed a grain diet for 24 hours, their rates of cribbing tripled once they could crib again.

The current research suggests that cribbing does not increase the likelihood of colic, however it is possible that cribbers are more stressed in a unsuitable environment and thus more prone to colic.

The most humane approach to managing cribbing is:

24 hour access to a high fibre diet- so if the horse is stabled or yarded it should ad lib grass or meadow hay
Minimising grain or concentrate feeding
As much turn out as possible- preferably 24/7
There are some antacid feed supplements that have been shown to reduce cribbing by buffering stomach acid
Ensuring the horse doesn't have a gastric ulcer- feeding Ulcerguard or similar (under vet advice) can prevent this.
Collars should only be used for short periods if the horse is losing weight due to time spent cribbing. Removing things the horse can crib on can also help, through electric fencing for example, however, like the collars this should be done in conjunction with providing ad lib fibre.

Cribbing is an active coping strategy for dealing with a sub-optimal environment. Many so called "cures" only address the symptoms, without also improving the horse's environment. In which case they can often make things worse for the horse.
It took me many years, trying many different solutions and a lot of research to come to the conclusion that the kindest thing I could do with my cribber, was to let her do it. She died of old age after 28 years of being attached to a fence post for a large part of every day.

Good luck with your horse
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-19-2012, 09:43 PM
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we have two horses that will only crib in a barn and only if the run out of hay. both of these are pastured 24/7 with hay year round. one of them requires jolly balls and different treat rollers and what such. she is a very busy body type horse. she can undo tons of different gate latches, untie herself from almost all situations. she has even figured out how to loosen the tie strap on her saddle if left standing too long with it on. her brain has to be working all the time. if she gets bored be prepared cause she will crib on anything and eat any wooden structure around.
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-20-2012, 02:21 PM
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By cribbing, do you include wind-sucking?

I had a mare who was out on several hundred acres, but she'd wind-suck, even without anything to lean her teeth on. She never colicked (as far as I know.) She had a beautiful foal, who was weaned at 6 months.

Three years later, that filly began to wind-suck! She was also a pasture horse. So I'm convinced heredity is a STRONG part of the cause.

I've also heard horses can copy it from stable mates.
I've also heard of it starting after a period of food stress: they said the air eased the hunger. In this case, the horse DID have a bout of colic.
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-20-2012, 02:29 PM
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I recommend slow feeders. keeps them busy.
Are neighbors horses are fed cubes, so they are bored for the rest of the day, they ate all the fence posts and whatever board they could find.
I use slow feeders and I dont have a single `board chewed on.
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-20-2012, 02:40 PM
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My mare is a cribber, she raced until she was seven and there's no question that she picked up the habit during those seven years.

Her seller had given me her cribbing collar with her, but as people have mentioned, it rubs off the fur and you have to have it incredibly tight. In my experience, it usually doesn't help too much.

Indie is now on 24/7 turnout, pending weather conditions, and is fed a good quality diet.. plus she's ridden usually five to six times a week. She doesn't seem to crib while out in the pasture, and the amount of times that she tries to crib in her stall seems to have decreased. She also used to flap her lips and smack them together but since she's came here, it's gone down so we think that particular habit was stress-related.

Forever loved, never forgotten; my beautiful Indie. <3 Hoofprints on my heart.
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