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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone,
this is the first time I have used the horse forum. My girlfriend tells me about it all the time. anyway. I am looking for the best cribbing strap. I have a mare that cribs occasionally. I also want to know about cribbing -- I hear there are new reports out on the subject.
 

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One thing that can tremendously help an occasional cribber is to give them something to do. Give them a job and try to keep them busy whenever you can. If you have the space to turn her out, keep her turned out as often as possible and let her have something to play with, either toys or a playmate, in her paddock. Try not to keep her stalled and make sure that she has access to forage almost constantly. Since it doesn't sound like she's a manic cribber, these things should help to minimize her desire to. As for the best collar, I have no idea. I have thankfully never had to use one.

Welcome to the forum by the way. :D
 

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Hi, and welcome to the forum. When you say crib-biting do you just mean biting or windsucking - just asking as different areas call it different things.

I recently did an assignment on both crib-biting and windsucking with the nrecent research... I'll try to find it, but I have a computer and not sure if I saved it anywhere...

But do let me know which one (just cribbing or windsucking) you are referring to and I'll let you know what I know... :)
 

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PS my newer TB came from the racing stable with a range of stereotypies including windsucking constantly (his teeth are so bad as a result)... But now I keep his collar off and have done for a few months, with no windsucking... I did alot of research into it... So if this is what you mean I can list of a bunch of details! :)
 

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To be honest I would leave the collar, if she has been crib biting for a while now then she will have a physical need to do it (a bit like a smoker!), distracting her is probably the best thing.

Looking forward to reading your research shakenbake, I'm really interested in this subject .)
 

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Hey again...

I found the assignment I did for Tafe on Vices - I focussed on Windsucking, Weaving, Food Aggression and Biting... I can email this to you if you send me you email address in a PM.

I just had a look over it again and thought - wow it's basic, Tafe essays don't need to be near as long as I complete for my Post grad mental health courses, but it does discuss some of the more recent theories such as:

- research suggests that winducking is not a learnt behaviour, and that a horse is infact predisposed to the steroetypy through their genetics, however it only comes apparent with some likely related to high stress,
- research involved testing various parameters including bloods and gastric Ph and found that there was no significant difference in the number of ulcers in the windsucking group and the non-windsucking group of subjects, nor differences in gastric pH or hyperkeratosis prevalence. Interestingly however the researcher acknowledged a difference in serum gastrin concentration at time intervals post feeding concentrates, paving the way for further study,
- that sterotypies are highly linked with unnatural environments ie stabling, limited access to feed, being isolated,
- that windsuckers do not demonstrate higher stress levels than non windsuckers in the same environment, however when they are stopped from doing the stereotypy their stress levels do increase,
- research suggests that windsuckers are slower learners,
- windsuckers had a higher heart rate and top heart rate prior to a novel stimulus,
- high link found with foals that have been taken from their mother and fed high protein diets and concentrates - more so not being able to suckle, socialise, in stressful environment and feed,
- that management of changing the environment to more natural is best - ie more time in paddock, more foarge time - offering more time to eat also produces greater saliva which buffers the Ph Level possibly reducing the behavioursm, trickle feeding an instruments to reduce the quantities of hay that a horse can have in one bite may allow for ongoing eating (however may increase stress levels), reducing any high protein rations and feeding with more fibre, collars can be utilised, however it was shown that when a collar is then taken off that 9/10 horses increased the time windsucking prooving that they do not lose the drive - this also goes for more drastic collars such as electric shock. Surgery still goes on, but isn't prooven to work either.

Anyway, thats a summary of the research I know about and partly whats in the assignment I can send you...

And my actual experience - As I mentioned my TB was a HUGE windsucker, would also weaving, paw, have barrier frustration.... All things he displayed in times of stress particulary although winsducking he would do heaps! Infact he hardly grazed initially... He came with the nutcracker collar but this only inflamed his neck.

I bought him a miracle collar and used this for a while. I started to take it off when he was in the paddock where he had made a friend, then when alone at night in a paddock would put it back on as we had metal gates.

Then we moved. I now have him and his best mate (my other horse) on 25acres, which we fenced deliberately with electric fencing (which the top strand lays along the top of the posts so he can't use that either to grasp on to), he's not stabled at all, fed lots of fibre and a normal protein percentage (not high), was put through courses of clean culture for his hindgut, lots of grass to eat all day - never restricted from grazing... And all this - I found he doesn't windsuck at all anymore, even in the paddock with trees and rocks that he could possibly fix his teeth on. I also had bloods to check for gastic ulcers or signs of these but by that stage everything was well.

He does stress when I take the other one out, and will weave still, but still no windsucking... I know from the research that the bahviour stays though and can't be 'cured' but with everything he has to do he seems settled enough and doesn't appear to want to windsuck anymore...

So... thats my story. :)

I found that the miracle collar is much better than the nutcracker but I have heard of some horses who it hasn't worked for. Again though, as La Fiaba said it wouldn't be good just to whack on a collar only if she doesn't have other ways to relieve stress. But then if her teeth are anything like my mans then you may need the collar for the sake of him being able to eat in the future (his teeth were sooo bad...)...

Anyway, questions - just ask cos I'm not sure how much sense I made tonight... Bit tired!
 

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PS - In Australia we call cribbing windsucking.. So I'm definately referring to that, not the other windsucking relating to the private parts of mares...

Just thought I'd clarify...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Okay, So, the mare's name is Jazz. She is a young 3 year old reining bred quarter horse. Lovely. She is extremely smart and athletic. She is originally from Dallas. I am guessing she was turned out a lot there. I bought her from a guy in syracuse, NY and she wasn't turned out much -- maybe 1 hour a day in a dirt pasture. Since July, she has been turned out on 5 acres of grass and is very happy. while she is out, not cribbing strap. I try and keep her turned out 24/7 when the weather is nice, but raining cold weather she comes in. Now she is at another barn for the winter (with an indoor) and she will be brought in at night.

I have only heard her crib 2x. Not much. I was told when I bought her that she cribbed and almost didn't look at her for this reason, but he assured me that she didn't crib much.

Okay, so only hearing her crib 2x, I am not 100% sure what exactly she does. She doesn't just chew on the wood, it is that cribbing sucking in sound. I know she does get a little stressed out when you push her too much.

So now the question is, cribbing strap or no cribbing strap?
 

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If you PM me your email address I can send the assignment through - there is an explaination of what cribbing/ winducking is and a photo...

Some horses will fix there teeth onto an object and lengthen their neck, then gulp in some air (the noise), others who are more advanced at it can do it without fixing their teeth on something, or will just use their legs to put their teeth on...

It really only becomes a problem if the horse is fixing their teeth on something (as the teeth become worn) or if they are doing it so much that they don't hold weight (by choosing to 'get high' on cribbing/ windsucking and not eating, grazing)...

Have you had her teeth checked? If there is no damage to her teeth and you don't see her grabbing things with her teeth thats a good sign... Also if she holds weight, happily grazes and eats her feed then thats also good, and in my personal opinion if this is the case I wouldn't put a strap/ collar on her.

The whole point of stopping the behaviour is to preserve weight and teeth... If it's very few and far in between and no hassles with teeth and weight then I'd say it'd be find to just leave her. But if she starts doing it lots when is brought in then you do need to be careful about her teeth.

As it is a stereotypy it does have an effect of comforting her... Like a nervous reaction... Especially given she used to be in an unnatural environment for so much of the day...

So without seeing her do it, and without seeing her teeth and weight - it is really your call. But personally unless it becomes a problem I would leave the strap off and just keep her out and entertained as much as possible.

If she is just doing it around feeding time then it may be a response to the feed (as per change in serum gastrin concentration) and perhaps a change in feed and ability to eat 24/7 would help...
 
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