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Cribbing

This topic contains 26 replies, has 22 voices, and was last updated by  Janet 2 years, 9 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 27 total)
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  • Sandra110296 Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 2

    I have an 8 yr old TWH, I believe he has had a very troubled past. He is kind and gentle, but cribs like crazy. I have a miracle collar on him, but all that does is keep him from making the sound, he still goes thru the motions. I don’t think that cutting off his airway is the solution. I believe there is an underlying issue i.e., digestion/ulcer maybe. Does anyone have an experience with this??? It is not from boredom, he is has 6 acres and 4 horses with him, he came to me with this issue, so it may have started that way, as he was kept in a stall most of his life. If I take the collar off, he starts to lose weight. HELP??????

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    Often cribbing starts with boredom (especially horses who spend most of their time in a stall), and it seems that they get a “high” from it. I haven’t known personally any horses who could get over it. Sort of an addiction. Have you consulted your vet? Or, perhaps a behavior specialist?

    It is never the horse's fault

    Sandra110296 Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 2

    Yes, my vet suggested the miracle collar, I have an appointment with an Holisit vet. We will see where that leads me, I truly believe it is a digestive issue and think that I am going to start with the smartpak digest and see if that helps. He is an awesome animal, and I want him to be healthy. Another note, is that his coat is dull, he is on a nice fescue pasture and is grained daily with Omelene 100, and supplements for his hooves.

    pheets pheets
    Topics Started: 5Replies Posted: 475

    Consider talking to your vet about ulcer treatments, as well as follow-up preventatives. Ranitidine, Ulcer Gard, omeprazole(sp), Tagamet, Cimetidine are all medications that can heal an ulcer. The financial aspect is broad with these. Not all cribbing is based in boredom tho often it is. Show horses and high demand sport horses, such as competing ASBs and racing horses, are very susceptible to ulcers/gastric disturbance/pain due to the life style and demands of their jobs and sometimes from not so caring mgt.

    All the collars for anti-cribbing can work to an extent but as you rightly noted, they only stop the result, not the desire or attempt. There are also muzzles but these are not cures, only deterrents. If boredom is not the issue, I would readily consider ulcers and go from there. In the meantime, try adding a fair amount of water to his grain if he’s grain fed (might want to re-evaluate his diet with your vet as well, sweet feeds or sugar mainly, can be an irritant to an open wound if ulcers are actually present. Sugar, un-necessary amounts of it, can generate a multitude of health issues and conditions. Just not a needed food stuff for horses.

    Sure there's right and wrong but mostly there's just a whole lotta different.

    Joan Fry
    Topics Started: 11Replies Posted: 324

    Dull coat–has he been wormed recently? The next time your vet comes, ask her to take a fecal sample. My new horse brought a heavy load of parasites with him. The one horse I’ve owned that cribbed was also an ASB, but he had never been shown, had never been trained to show. He had other issues (he reared–he resented whips of any kind, including a longe whip), so I sold him before I concentrated on his cribbing. I think your vet will agree with pheets about the sweet feed. Try carrots–they’re naturally sweet. What do you plan to do with this horse? Compete? Trail ride? Trail horses, in particular, need good-quality hay more than they need grain.

    Joe-Joe Joe-Joe
    Topics Started: 17Replies Posted: 1205

    Or take a fecal sample to your vet, which is a lot cheaper. My small animal vet does flotations for Joe Joe (I know I am using it, but it is really the horse’s name – one of them, anyway).

    It is never the horse's fault

    andrea_loper
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    I agree with checking for or treating for ulcers. You might want to get him scoped to see if he has them. Ulcerguard is expensive and ranitidine can be inconvenient to administer (3 times a day, 8 hours apart).
    If the cribbing is not the result of ulcers I have been very successful using Cribbox, a nasty smelling paste you can coat on the surfaces he cribs on. My horse was a dedicated cribber and the combination of that in the stall and hotwire on his pasture fences put an end to his cribbing. I have also had good success with the nutcracker collar, but it needs to be on very tight. I prefer to use the other methods whenever I can.
    Good luck!

    karenaz
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 2

    I wish I did have a possible solution. I’ve had two cribbers who came into my life with this annoying habit so I don’t know how it started. I confirmed that neither horse had health issues, so it was purely habitual (they get an endorphine rush). I attempted to stop this several ways to include, the miracle collar and even a shock collar (similar to what is used on dogs). There is also a theory in the dental community about putting a band on a couple of teeth but that is temporary, has to be replaced frequently, and really is not well proven. I’ve seen boarding stables put up a hot wire on the top rail, but the persistent horses will just move down to the next rail and crib on that. I ultimately opted to “put up with it” because the miracle collar slipped one time and my mare nearly lost an eye because the collar rubbed her eye all day long while I was at work and I have been unable to find another solution to the problem. I’ve had other horses housed with these cribbers including my mare’s filly and none have picked up the habit as folks tend to believe. While it can be a health risk, it’s more of an irritation to us humans than a health risk to the horse. An interesting note to all of this is that my mare’s filly came out of the womb with what could be called tongue cribbing (sticks it out frequently) which seems to have that endorphine affect on her that cribbing does. So this suggests that cribbing may be something that is genetic with some horses rather than caused by some other outside influence such as boredom.

    cowgirlkate
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    Cribbing is an awful habit and difficult to break and I agree with you that restricting your horse’s airway is not the best solution.

    I saw a Clinton Anderson show on RFD TV that addressed the issue and thought that what he was talking about sounded good to me for all kinds of unwanted behaviors…it’s some sort of electric zapper. Everytime your horse does whatever the unwanted behavior, you zap him. He’ll never know you did it, but will associate the zapping with the unwanted behavior and eventually will quit.

    I thought it was a brilliant solution and just remembered it even though my horses don’t crib and I’ve never had the problem.

    horses2love
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 3

    Some horses who crib can be helped by giving access to certain brands of minerals formulated to be fed free choice in a small mineral feeder which is protected from weather. Put some loose natural sea salt in another compartment-some horses don’t get enough salt from a lick. Initially my horses consume a lot of minerals and then after a couple weeks or months consumption tapers off and they may not eat them again for months-which is a sign that they needed them.

    When the horse is not on pasture, use a slow feed hay net with holes no bigger than 2 inches, which makes the hay last a long time and prevents ulcers because the horse’s stomach acid levels stay more even. If the horse is eating hay, he is not cribbing. Some horses can have hay in the net 24 hours a day because they do not have huge appetites. Other horses must have the net refilled with smaller amounts often so they only get the amount of hay needed to maintain a healthy weight.

    If the cribbing is related to stress, try the holistic remedy called Rescue Remedy by Bach Flower Essences. Put 10 drops in a 5 gallon bucket of drinking water every day and the horse gets it whenever he drinks. It won’t harm other horses who drink from the same bucket. You may also put 4 drops of Rescue Remedy-4 times daily on a treat or on the food or directly into the mouth with a small oral syringe, if you have time. Other flower essences address cribbing and breaking bad habits. Snapdragon flower essence helps with issues related to teeth and mouth, cribbing, biting, grinding, tmj problems, etc. Chestnut Bud flower essence helps with breaking habits, learning from past mistakes. You may combine all 3 essences safely or try them individually and you will see which one helped. I have used essences for all of my animals for 20 years and have always seen good results! I keep Rescue Remedy in my pocket and when my mare is upset about anything I pull it out and she sees it and comes right over for a dose! If I’m feeling stressed I take it myself. It calms the nerves very quickly.

    Collars, electrical shocks and drugs may give results, but they are not addressing the root cause and can have side effects and are not very pleasant for the horse. Horses are asked to fit into a human’s world and it creates all sorts of problems for them.

    I hope the holistic vet had some good advice for you.

    Westernrider10
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    Also, if you eliminate all health related causes, the Dare cribbing collar really works. My 7 yo gelding has been a “hard core” cribber, and the miracle collar was useless for him. We switched to the Dare collar (after a referral from a friend with the same problem with her pony), and even though he has been on stall rest for the past year with only 5-10 minutes of hand walking a day (due to a hip injury) it still prevents him from cribbing.

    angusmum
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 2

    Hi,
    I’ve been thinking about your post for sometime, and I hope by now you have figured somethings out, but if you haven’t, here are some thoughts.
    I have a cribber, and I don’t even try to fix or stop it. I’ve read some great studies from veterinary colleges about the problem. My Connemara/TB gelding has woken up many days plotting and thinking creative terrible things,but “Today I will wake up and obsessively start cribbing”, was probably not one. I actually bring wood slats to bolt onto stalls at shows so he can crib, especially since he doesn’t have access to pasture durring those times. Cribbing has shown to lower stomach acidity with the dopamine response. They also get really cranky like a smoker going cold turkey, and I have enough on my plate without “cranky” at a show.
    So all of the advice about checking for ulcers, etc sounds great to me too. So if that is cleared onto my thoughts about losing weight.
    You also mentioned he has had a really rough life. I have a mare, now retired, that has been abandoned, abused, almost died from pericarditis, etc. (All before me). She has been a notoriously hard keeper, even retired. She refused to really sleep, and would continually cut the fronts of her ankles by buckling over onto them due to exhaustion, no matter where or how much bedding, she wouldn’t lay down. About 3 years ago, I had to put her brother down and she mourned terribly, so I brought in a pony to keep her company. She perked up, but got dangerous and aggressive when I bought my Connemara/TB. She didn’t want him near her pony, and when I separated them into their stalls, she would lose her mind! She got so dangerous, that I tried Smart Calm Ultra, and if sedating/calming her didn’t work, she would have to be put down. I had her on it for 6mo, seemed to calm her down and she is happy, still selfish about her pony, but not dangerous. NOW SHE SLEEP AND GAINS WEIGHT. You might consider this, since your horse has suffered abuse, even if you have had him for awhile. The effects are long lasting.
    Sorry for the long post. I wish you the best of luck. You sound like a very caring horsewoman and your horse really deserves you.

    deanna_duncan
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 1

    I give MARE MAGAIC To my horse who have problems it seem to help.

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    Horse LOVER for ever

    Sandra110296 Original Poster
    Topics Started: 1Replies Posted: 2

    Thank you, I love this horse beyond compare. He is so humble and sweet. I have started soaking his food, did a power pack dewormer, had his teeth floated, have been giving him probiotics, but had to put the collar back on– he would not gain weight. He has now begun to pick back up and starting to look and I hope feel better. He is the bottom of the pecking order and stays off to himself most of the time. He has a favorite post that he likes to use, I wish I could cure his problem, but I am at a loss. I don’t like the collars, but if I take it off for any period of time, he begins to look malnourished. Thank you again for your help and kind words.

    royalstonrider
    Topics Started: 0Replies Posted: 3

    Since your horse’s coat is dull, try adding omega-3 oil as ground flaxseed or flax oil. The oil has extra calories compare to grain, has anti inflammatory effects, and is needed for healthy cell membranes. It will help his coat and may help his nervous system. If you can have him scoped to see if he has ulcers, do it. If not, you should try Smart Calm Ultra, as another rider suggested.

    That product helped turn my very irritable mare, admittedly not a cribbed, into a tractable horse. It may take a few weeks or a month to start to work so be patient.

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