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Discussion Starter #1
Hi everyone,
My horse cribs, and it's making her teeth very square and her tummy bloated.
I was wondering what I can do to stop her.

I was wondering if there is anything out there that will stop her, on a more permanent basis.

If I left a cribbing collar on her for a while, would she eventually just forget that she used to do it, or is it something she'll do forever?

Any advice, tips and home remedies are very much appreciated,
Thanks
Holly
 

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Cribbing to a horse is like drugs to a junkie. The act of cribbing releases endorphins and gives the horse a "high". Once it starts, it doesn't end and a collar is really the way to prevent it. There are many ideas about it such as coating the fences with oil or pepper but that eventually wears away.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thank you for your reply :)
I've heard it's particularly common in tbs, for one reason or another, and I'm not worried worried as it doesn't seem to be effecting her, I'm just concerned about the future.

If I bought her a collar for it, as soon as I took it off, would she start up again? Or would eventually, she not even remember she used to do it?
 

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It's been my experience that she will never forget.
 

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There is a surgery that can be done in extreme cases. I'm not sure what is done but it involes cutting the tendons or muscles on either side of there neck that are used when they crib so it is impossible to get the movement that is required to crib. I have heard it works about half the time, a very bad cribber will sometimes find other muscles to use. I found my TB would crib less if he wasn't board, so I kept im in pasture whenever possible, gave him as much hay as possible, gave him toys. He wore a miracle collar all the time, as soon as I removed it he was back to cribbing.

Good Luck.
 

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If she's well confirmed in the habit you could be stuck with it. There is a thought out there that most horses that crib have ulcers. Some that have been cribbing for a long time have stopped with ulcer treatment.
 

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We have a horse at the barn who wears a collar daily, and she still cribs with it on. It's been looked at by multiple experts for fit, and everyone says it's correct, but she still cribs with it. They leave it on because I think they believe she cribs a little less with it on - but she still is cribbing all the time.
The only other serious cribber at our barn wears a cribbing muzzle. That does seem to work, but only as long as it's on. When she comes in to feed and the muzzle is removed, she cribs throughout breakfast/dinner.
 

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Some things that encourage cribbing include boredom, sweetfeed, and lack of grazing. That isn't to say that removing those factors will stop him, only, hopefully, slow him down.

I had a mare once that learned to avoid a collar by doing it this way:
 

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Have you had her checked for ulcers?

Some people find that treating them for ulcers does help the intensity of the cribbing (does not make it go away, just makes them crib less).

What type of environment does she live in? Stall kept, pasture kept or some where in the middle? Free choice hay or smaller meals?

There are probably a whole boat load of things that you can do to make her less likely to crib as much. Free choice hay/grass in a pasture that the fences do not allow for cribbing, etc.


I have to agree with Iride, she is not likely to just give up cribbing.

I do know one horse that got to the point that anything around his neck in the location that the cribbing collar would go was enough to make him not crib. Even a loose leather strap.
(Note, that was only one horse.)

I have also known horses that the collar did nothing for, as Shenandoah mentioned.

If it were my horse I would check for ulcers, adjust environment and add a good cribbing collar.
 

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A vet article revealed that ulcers causing gas is being looked at as why a horse cribs, possibly as a means of releasing gas. If you've ever watched a kid intentionally force a burp to impress his friends, he employs a lot of muscles in his throat to do so.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thank you for your replies everyone! She's turned out 24/7, has hay put out every couple days (more so now the grass is less) and has a feed (chaff, a mix and some oats).

I've just bought some toys for her, as there's not much to do in the field, and she doesn't enjoy running.

Can wind sucking be dangerous (other than maybe causing mouth ulcers and abscesses) I always thought cribbing caused the ulcers, rather than was a result of ulcers, but I will get her checked out.

Apparently she did when she was at the racing stables she was at, so my guess is she was either bored and learned it, copied another horse, or like some believe, it could be common to the breed (tb). Who knows? :-| If it can't cause her serious problems, then I'm not too worried about her doing it (she's not a die hard cribber, I just don't like her doing it if it will harm her.)
 

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Race horses simply because of their high grain diets and stressful lifestyle are very prone to ulcers. Are you In Aussie? If so look at horse supplies direct for ulcer teatments and try one. Pretty simple way to see if it helps. What sort of mix is she on?
 

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I don't have much experience at all with horses, but a friend of mine's mare just start cribbing. She's stalled the majority of the day, and she's really started to do a number on her stall.

What kind of ulcers are you guys talking about? I saw someone mentioned trying an ulcer treatment, but what is it and how?
 

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Welcome to the forum OTTB

If your friend's horse is cribbing, get a vet out to have him checked. You can't start treatment on your own for a symptom he may or may not have.
 

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OTTB, we are talking about stomach ulcers. It does take a vet to determine if they have them.

It is strange that a horse would suddenly start cribbing. Are you sure this horse is actually cribbing and not just chewing wood? There is a difference.
 

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Well I know for a fact the horse was not doing it about a month ago. I saw her then and her stall was intact. She's really working a hole down the plywood panel on one side of her stall, so it could just be chewing? She'll also do it to the metal bars on the tie out racks outside. She'll grip it with her front teeth but I don't know what she does about it because the owner makes her stop.

I'll suggest the stomach ulcer check to the owner for the horses next vet visit, but a google search shows that most of them are caused by stress and this horse has anything but stress, except being bored. She's barely even saddled at the moment.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Hi guys, thank you for all your replies :)
Gluey, no I'm in England.

I read a lot about Gastric Ulcers last night, and she doesn't have any of the symptoms stated on all of the sites. However, I've read up on the prevention of them, and they also tie in with the prevention of cribbing - access to decent roughage, and smaller more frequent meals - which will mean the acid is digesting her food (not her stomach lining) and also give her something to do 24/7 so she's not bored.

I've started putting her hay in a net instead of chucking it out in the field in one chunk, meaning it take longer to eat, and makes her work for it. This morning I got there, and instead of finding her cribbing, I found her munching from the hay net. So maybe she was just bored, so I'm going to give her a net every night now.

I've also ordered her some toys, and they'll be getting here tomorrow or friday.

I think it's probably mostly due to her boredom, rather than ulcers, however, I've realised what I need to do to prevent ulcers, which is good, being as prevention is better than cure :)

Thank you for your help everybody :D
 

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I have a 2 yr old who quickly figured out that if he lowers his head the collar will losen up and he can still crib.

And I also have a OTTB that used to crib until we discovered that he had stomach ulcers and we treated him and he's on u-gard daily. Another sympom we noticed was that he was sweating all the time while just in the pasture (in the winter) and he had really loose stool.

You could run a strand of electric along the top of your fence to discourage him from cribbing but that may not be an option. I would start with the cribbing collar first and see, it does work on some horses.
 
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