I've had very good success with a natural method....get your rubber gloves out and smear fresh horse manure on all surfaces where she cribs. She will NOT willingly put her mouth where the manure is. It is free and renewable if a little gross. It DOES work though, although I don't believe that anything you can do will be anything other than temporary.
"My biggest fear is that when I die my husband is going to try to sell all my horses and tack for what I told him they cost."
Although excess acid/ulcers can be a culprit, if the horse is a long-term cribber that may not be the case. I just had my cribber scoped--no ulcers. He is a fretter and a worrier, so his perceived stress contributes to his cribbing.
I, too, have tried those same cribbing straps, and none really stop him. The miracle collar had to be incredibly tight. The vet suggested trying a strap that works on a different principle, such as the collar with spikes, or hotwiring in such a way that there is no place to crib.
Of course, you will get answers to just let them crib because recent research has shown that cribbers have a higher stomach pH and the saliva produced during cribbing may buffer it. The cribbing doesn't bother me or my BO, but my guy is more interested in cribbing than eating sometimes, so I try to prevent it to encourage more food intake.
I have also heard good things about the Dare Cribbing Collar. My mare doesn't crib like she used to, so I haven't bought it myself. However, if she starts up again with increased stall-time in winter, I plan to.
How do you handle the grazing muzzle on a hard keeper?
It's not a grazing muzzle. Grazing muzzles have a little hole so the horse can't eat as much grass- cribbing/biting muzzles just have a few bars over the nose so the horse can't grab anything substantial (i.e., anything but hay, grass, water, and feed) in his mouth. They shouldn't interfere with food intake at all.
24/7 turnout does help but is not the cure. I have 2 cribbers, they both still crib on my posts on 8 acres of grass. I alternate collars in a stall situation but I do have an occasional cribber who gets rubs and he does not wear one.
The reviews on smartpak say it doesn't hold up well, which I'm not sure of yet, as I've only had it a few weeks.
I bought one of these for my mare when the miracle collar (with fleece) kept rubbing her. She learned how to crib through the muzzle in about 30 days. After searching the internet exhaustively, this http://allamericanequipment.com/cata...roducts_id/319 was pretty well recommended by several people in different places. It was between this or trying one of the french ones so I chose this one since it was half the price. Surprisingly it stopped her cribbing and didn't rub at all. Now my mare is on 24/7 turnout and only wears the collar when she has to be stalled at shows. She rarely cribs in the field. Hope this helps.