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Gold_Treasure 08-17-2007 01:20 AM

My horse is a cribber :(

She does not crib in turn out only in her stall.

Does anyone have any solutions??!!

I need some :wink:

AKPaintLover 08-17-2007 03:54 AM

Do you mean sucking wind or chewing wood? My gelding was a very bad wood chewer in his stall. What fixed it 100% for him was to staple a tarp over and around all of the wood surfaces in his stall. It is kind of ugly, but it keeps the wood safe. You can find less hideous color tarps than blue :)

Some people put logs in the paddocks to give them something they are allowed to chew on.

Increasing exercise might help, but my gelding was worked a lot daily in different environments and disciplines, and still liked to chew. Some horses do it out of boredom though. Maybe throw a jolly ball or other horsey type toy in with her. Of course if you are talking actual stall, not stall/paddock, these options are somewhat limited. I have seen people secure rope for horses to play with in their mouths (up above their heads) - that might work in a stall, but I would be really careful about something like that because it seems like a potential hazzard in many ways.

My best fix is definitely the tarp :) They don't like to chew on the texture.

If you are talking about sucking wind - I think that is a very addictive habit started through boredom or stress, and I have little advice for that one :)

Ryle 08-17-2007 09:43 AM

One of the things that is now being known is that cribbers often have ulcers. The fact that you stall your horse causes an increased risk of ulcers.

You should talk to your vet about this possibility.
Along with that you can try providing access to free choice hay while stalled, limit stalling as much as possible and add an antacid to his feed to ease the discomfort if ulcers are the issue. You can purchase antacid supplements from any number of places. U-7 is the one I'm familiar with, so you could do a search for it.

Gold_Treasure 08-17-2007 10:26 AM

She is a windsucker.Cribber. not a chewer.
She has a jolly ball. and a likit(but they only last a few hours)
She has a miracle collar. It doesnt really work anymore. Slightly milds the cribbing.I also put hot sauce up in her stall. She is ridden everyday ( gets one day off) and gets lots o' love :D . we've tried putting metal up in her stall to protect the wood but it files down her teeth worse.

I think she either picked up the habit at the racetrack or when she was sent to slaughter/ or the place she was being rehabilitated at. Those are very stressful places. But she is not under much stress.

Ryle 08-17-2007 10:35 AM

Those stresses also add to the likelihood that this horse has ulcers and has had for some time.

Kyani 08-17-2007 10:51 AM

I would say you are right that she's probably picked up those habits in a stressful situation. Most horses will drop such vices when they are happy again, but windsucking is one of the most addictive and many horses continure to do it even after the source of stress is removed.

The first step I would take is to make sure she is happy in her environment, otherwise anything you do is just masking a problem that is already there. If she only cribs in a stall then maybe something about being in that stall is upsetting her - can she see or hear something that might be stressful to a horse? Or maybe she simply dislikes being stalled, or associates it with stressful experiences from her past. Could you not give her more turnout time? I'd be inclined only to stall a horse when necessary.
If all else fails and she's simply addicted to the habit, there are anti windsucking collars you can buy, but I'm clueless as to whether or not they're effective.

Oh, and just remember (because I know a lot of owners of horses with vices get trouble about this) vices are not copied by one horse from another - a horse cannot 'catch' a vice from being in the same barn as a horse who has it. Vices are a product of the horse's environment, whether they go away when that environment doe sor not.

Kyani 08-17-2007 10:53 AM

Oh, and some people try muzzles, but I've heard that some horses work out how to brance against the inside of one and carry on windsucking that way.

jpost 08-17-2007 11:41 AM

My guy is a cribber (windsucker) too. He especially likes to do it right after he eats (kind of like a smoker :lol: ). In the stall he would destroy his water bucket and feed bucket. I put a rubber water bucket in his stall and feed him out of a rubber feed tub on the ground. My stall is completely closed so he can't chew on any edges. I thought the metal might help too but I can see where it would file his teeth down. The collar only stopped him from sucking in air but he still liked trying. Probably even more because he couldn't gulp the air with the collar. I tried the muzzles but he found ways to rip his halter off ( I use break away halters). If you are in MD, I'll be glad to give you his steel cribbing muzzle. Just be sure to use a break away halter, I've heard of too many horses getting thier halter stuck and breaking their neck. I wish I had a solution to stop the behaviour but I haven't found one. I wish you the best of luck, I know it is difficult when you are in a boarding situation.

Gold_Treasure 08-17-2007 02:27 PM


Originally Posted by Ryle
Those stresses also add to the likelihood that this horse has ulcers and has had for some time.

She doesn't have ulcers. Not yet Im trying to prevent them. She's collicked (?spelling) once but I dont think it was because of her cribbing.
She is only five so she hasnt been cribbing for a long time.
She doesnt crib on her buckets and her cribbing case is pretty mild so Im hoping i can break her of it.
Im pretty sure she's happy in her enviornment but i guess there's no way to know for sure. Unfortunatley she cant get turned out a lot. We have other horses that also need to get out and she can't take up a whole pasture.

I dont want to stress her out even more with a muzzle, it seems cruel to me.

Ryle 08-17-2007 05:25 PM

How do you know she doesn't have ulcers? This is a common condition, especially in horses that have been on the track or in intense training, and stalled. She has a history of alll of these things and is a cribber which is commonly associated with gastric ulcers in horses. So unless you have had her scoped to prove that she does/doesn't have ulcers you can't know but you do know she's in an "at risk" group and lifestyle. So a simple possible solution is to add a top dressing of antacid to the diet and provide free choice hay.

jpost, a horse that cribs particularly after eating most likely has ulcers.

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