When he was checked for ulcers, was he tubed? It's the only way to diagnose them for sure.
Cribbing, however, is not 'linked' to digestive problems. It's usually linked to boredom, and then when the horses cribs rather then eat, it creates ulcers (a period of 6-8 hours of fasting can cause ulcers!) Then the horses crib to relieve the ulcer pain, but it only makes them worse. There's a looot of misinformation out there about ulcers, so if you want a little more information on it I'll be happy to indulge. ;)
I have to disagree with the fact that cribbing can be stopped so easily. Just because you cured one horse doesn't mean everyone else is just doing it wrong. ;) Cribbing isn't really a habit, it's more of an addiction--have you ever dealt with a smoker who was heavily addicted? They may want to stop, and they may TRY to stop, but the brain tells them they have to smoke. It's a PHYSICAL addiction, NOT a mental one.
So first off, you have to make sure your horse doesn't crib. Cribbing just a couple times, or just for an hour, is not an option. Horses can colic, wood is destroyed, their teeth get badly worn, cribbing can cause ulcers--Cribbing at all, or even a little, is not an option. Also know that horses can EASILY crib without leaving marks on the wood. Cribbing is not chewing!
Second, I'm not sure why you're so against to the collar. My paint gelding cribs because he was raised in a stall (darn show barns). He's now out 25/7 on pasture, had been treated and managed for ulcers to be on the safe side, has plenty of grass and hay... and still may want to crib if the other horses bother him. Again, like people and cigarettes--if people get stressed, they want a cigarette. If my gelding gets stressed... he wants to crib. He wears a simple nutcracker collar, and the only time it does anything is if he tries to crib. I can fit my whole hand under it, it doesn't leave marks... Now, I USED to use the 'miracle collar', and THAT thing was a torture device. No pain my butt! It left wounds all over his head, I had to put it on so tight that the skin would bubble out around it... I hated it, and he hated it, and I bought this 6 dollar piece of nylon and he practically puts his head in it.
You can paint fences if that works, but horses will also crib on plastic buckets and water troughs (especially when they find out that you painted the fence). The paint doesn't stick to the plastic so well, so then you're out of options with the paint. All in all, if you can't manage the horse after treating for ulcers/boredom, then a collar that fits correctly is your best bet. You could get a wire muzzle that allows them to eat/drink... but I think the horses hate them more. ;) Sometimes cribbing has a reason (ulcers or boredom), and then you have to treat the problem. Sometimes cribbing is an addiction, and you have no choice but to treat the resulting behavior because of it.
Dressage in Jeans
- My blog with dressage tips for happy, relaxed horses, specifically for those who ride dressage in western saddles, no saddles, cowboy boots, or jeans. ;) Also now with cute pygmy goat pictures! :P