Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Black Hills of Wyoming
Unfortunately I believe, too, that there is no way to "heal" a cribber except, of course, certain surgeries that cut tendons or muscles (I do not remember what) that the horse need to crib (or wind-suck). My experience with cribbers is that they crib less if they are kept busy and content. Boredom or nervousness make them crib more. I had a gelding who cribbed in his pen, chewed all fence posts down after I put him 24/7 on pasture, but quit cribbing after a couple of month. I then sold him to someone who also had him pastured 24/7 - nevertheless he started to crib again.
I never had one colicing due to cribbing, but they do wear their teeth down. I find cribbing more annoying than a health concern. To disencourage cribbing I tie a cribber to metal when grooming and saddling, most horses won't crib on metal surfaces, and I used to cover wooden surfaces with something unappealing. I tried several things (there is no-chew-stuff on the market to buy, but very expensive), and WD40 (or equal no-name brand) worked best.
I worked in many stables with cribbers, I never noticed that a horse in the vicinity of a cribber started to crib, too. I doubt it's "contagious".