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A new horse just moved into our barn for rehabilitation. He is underweight and I don't know much of his history. He's pretty much right across the aisle from my horse. He is the worst cribber/windsucker I have ever seen. It's incessant, he's either chewing on his bucket or gulping air - all the time. I read a couple articles that say cribbing can be mimicked or learned by watching other horses. I just don't know if I should ask if that horse be moved...I don't want to be a pain but I would hate for her to pick up a habit so hard to break.
 

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Horses do copy that behaviour unfortunately but I think the young horses are more inclined to try it. The barn im at has some really bad cribbers as well and as long as i have been there none of the horses picked up on it. Just watch for signs of wood chewing first because it could turn into cribbing.
 

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I've heard arguments both for and against and I'm not firmly in either camp. It's definitely not a direct cause and effect - if your horse is stabled near a cribber it will become a cribber. If that were true, they'd be a lot more cribbers, because most larger boarder facilities have at least one or two.

What is true, I think, is if your horse is already nervous and/or bored, and is stabled next to another nervous/bored horse, then he's likely to pick up the habit or any other stable vice.

If your horse is content and laidback and likes his routine, I doubt that it will affect him.
 

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I've heard arguments both for and against and I'm not firmly in either camp. It's definitely not a direct cause and effect - if your horse is stabled near a cribber it will become a cribber. If that were true, they'd be a lot more cribbers, because most larger boarder facilities have at least one or two.

What is true, I think, is if your horse is already nervous and/or bored, and is stabled next to another nervous/bored horse, then he's likely to pick up the habit or any other stable vice.

If your horse is content and laidback and likes his routine, I doubt that it will affect him.
Thank you. I was going to mention that as well. If your horses is bored or unhappy, he is more likely to pick up bad habits especially being stalled.
 

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There have been articles(that I can't seem to find..-.-) about this. Cribbing is now thought to be genetic, meaning a horse has to be genetically predisposed to cribbing to be able to pick it up. A horse that does not have a relative(parent, grandparent, etc.) that cribs, will more than likely NOT learn this behaviour. However, a horse that DOES have a relative that cribs, has a higher chance of picking it up.

Some people do not believe this to be true, but I do. I worked in a barn of 40+ horses with 3 cribbers. There were horses stalled all around them for years in the same stall. Not a single one picked it up.
 
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