Cribbing/wind sucking why? And the use of shock collars.... - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 18 Old 05-15-2013, 06:29 PM
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Originally Posted by mudpie View Post
As for your question, I would NEVER use electrical shock on a horse, as they would not understand what was happening or why.
Yes they would. It is the same kind of association used in virtually all horse training. It's true that generally speaking prey animals are not as smart as predators, but horses are definitely smart enough to make the connection between two closely timed events – if they weren't, we couldn't train them to do much at all.

Not that I would necessarily use a shock collar in the case of cribbing, I'm just saying that a horse could understand it.
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post #12 of 18 Old 05-15-2013, 06:56 PM
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Yes they would. It is the same kind of association used in virtually all horse training. It's true that generally speaking prey animals are not as smart as predators, but horses are definitely smart enough to make the connection between two closely timed events – if they weren't, we couldn't train them to do much at all.

Not that I would necessarily use a shock collar in the case of cribbing, I'm just saying that a horse could understand it.
Pain as a training mechanism is never a good idea.

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post #13 of 18 Old 05-15-2013, 07:10 PM
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I actually wondered about this a long time ago, I have never owned a cribber. But we do have an electrical fence, so maybe if you got the timing right the horse would think the post is shocking them? and not touch it (just as an electric fence) just a thought, not saying im advising the shock collar haha
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post #14 of 18 Old 05-16-2013, 01:26 AM
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I believe there's an inherited predisposition to cribbing. I read somewhere that it's like gambling addiction in people and I think that's a great analogy. There are people with a predisposition to addiction that will never even attempt whatever that addictive behavior is (be it gambling, drinking, or whatever) but the ones who have the predisposition and attempt it have a hard time quitting it. Horses begin cribbing for a reason: physical pain or mental stress. If you can fix the problem quickly, you have a better chance of keeping the cribbing from becoming a habit, but the longer they do it, the harder it is to stop.

My horse is a cribber, but he doesn't fit the profile of a "typical" cribber. He's very laid back and is an easy keeper. He started cribbing before the first person bought him from his breeder at age 3. I'd be willing to bet he started as a weanling. Feeding sugary/starchy grain at weaning is a big risk factor, and I know that the breeder doesn't stall his horses, but he does feed them all-stock sweet feed (ick).

The research done on cribbing has brought up more questions than it has answered. Horses tend to crib the most around feeding time, whether they have ulcers or not. A common theory is that cribbers get "high" from endorphins released when cribbing, but an endorphin-blocking drug stopped cribbing behavior in experiments; this was counter-intuitive as they were expected to try and crib much more on the drug since they wouldn't be able to get their high. There's not even a consensus on whether or not the horse is really swallowing air. Some evidence shows that they draw air into the esophagus but that it is immediately expelled; my own personal experience is that my horse is much gassier when he's allowed to crib so I suspect that at least some of it makes it into the intestinal tract. What they're not doing is burping. Horses lack the physiological capability to burp (just like they can't vomit).

There's no scientific evidence that horses learn to crib by mimicking other horses. The barn where I board has 76 stalls and at any one time has several cribbers in addition to my own (including a school horse that has been there for years) The cribbers aren't segregated in any way and they've never had a non-cribber pick up the habit.

There are a lot of extremes that I would never go to in an attempt to stop cribbing- not just shock collars, but also "cribbing rings" put through the horse's gums and even surgery. I'm lucky that a collar stops my horse (though I haven't used it in a long time because it causes rubs) and though you can tell from his teeth that he cribs, he's not like some horses whose teeth are worn to the gum line from cribbing.
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post #15 of 18 Old 05-16-2013, 01:31 AM
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It depends, on the horse. As with any other vice such as weaving or walking in a stall etc. Can be removed by turn out and environment, or can just be the way the horse is.

Horse at my old barn cribbed with a collar, she was given a 2x4 in front of her feed bowl, and always a good sized piece of wood in turn out so she didn't get the fence.

Horse at current barn, doesn't crib with a collar on. So it all depends.
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post #16 of 18 Old 05-16-2013, 02:50 AM
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It can have something to do with environment, but I believe this causes stomach ulcers and that causes the cribbing. Treat the ulcers change the environment and the horse will lessen/stop cribbing.

I also agree that it can be a predisposition. One of the worse cribbers I ever had started as a yearling. He was out 24/7 with other youngsters, He was not bullied nor was he stressed in any way. At that time there was no way to test for ulcers so no telling if he had them or not.

I would not use a shock collar but try to discover the reason why.
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post #17 of 18 Old 05-22-2013, 10:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for all your replies....I'm glad the consensus is that shock collars are a big no no!!!
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post #18 of 18 Old 05-22-2013, 11:22 PM
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When I was looking at buying a horse that cribbed I researched some collars and found called the Barclay anti cribbing collar which may be the one you are talking about. I'm not sure how they work because they don't need batteries but they give a mild 'static charge' which is triggered by the horses throat actions they make when they go to crib. I'm assuming they are quite effective because it comes with a 30 money back guarantee but I still didn't like the idea of it. I didnt like the standard metal cribbing collar that he wore either, there was a very obvious dent in his throat caused by it which you could see when the collar wasn't on. I passed on that horse anyway in the end so didn't look into it any further.
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