Another Cribbing thread-- brainstorm some ideas for me please :)
I would love to let my diehard 5 year old cribber just crib to his little heart's content, BUT I don't own the barn he's at where he has to be controlled. About 8 months ago I got a DARE collar that worked pretty well for awhile, but now it's not working so well for Mr. SmartPony and has to be SUPER tight to be even somewhat effective. It's rubbing and leaving sores and white hairs on my poor little guy -- NOT okay for the big hoofed ballerina with FEI dressage dreams! I do have fluffy sheepskin covers to put on it, but then he can flip the collar to the side whenever he wants to crib.
BTW- He doesn't have ulcers (have even done ulcer treatment to see if it worked) and actually started cribbing when he was in the ideal 24/7 turnout/ constant forage with his best bud situation at roughly 2 years old.
My stockpile of things that don't work for him:
french style collar
electric shock (when cribbing) collars- pain tolerance is off the charts when it comes to cribbing
Nasty stuff (hot pepper, mcnasty, etc) smeared all over
What should we try next?
I'm not really interested in spending $$$ to try seeing if surgery might work for this crazy dedicated critter since I have a feeling it wouldn't. This horse will actually try to crib 100 times with a collar on for the chance that he might get ONE tiny crib in.
Keep in mind that sometimes when you prevent one OCD type behavior, you end up with another one.
I own a cribber who is pretty well controlled using the DARE collar but who completely ignored the nastiest hot pepper spray imaginable. After applying it to the fencing, I could taste it in my mouth for days! Didn't stop him at all.
The only things that helped deter him were liquid dish soap (cheap but you need to reapply frequently) and cribbox which is the stickiest nastiest substance you can find and which sticks to everything.
We now run hot wire across the top of the fencing.
Electric shock collar = the Barclay collar? Did you try the modification for stubborn cribbers?
Can you hotwire every available surface that he can possibly crib on?
I suppose you could use hog rings. Fairly (okay, hugely) controversial, but most find them to be VERY effective. The are a metal staple in the gum. The AAEP has come out against them. Here is someone's honors thesis about the subject. Here is another article, with picture. I would be disinclined to use hog rings in a cribber that was an otherwise healthy horse and just needed to NOT CRIB because of boarding barn requirements, though. I can see them being a valid last resort option for a horse that is seriously harming itself due to uncontrollable cribbing.
Can you give him a "safe place" to crib. We have used a rubber stall guard (not the stall chain but the full stall guard) and hung that on a wall on his stall and he would choose to that. Just eventually they wear away the rubber and you have to flip it before the wire in the rubber starts rubbing their chin. We have also put PVC pipe around one side of his stall that is halfway open to protect the wood and his teeth and have put squares of rubber mat on the posts between the electric fence. I worry mostly about his teeth (which at 16 you can hardly tell he is a cribber after being managed like this) but you also couldn't tell there is a cribber in my barn since there is nothing he can damage. I've done a lot of research on cribbing in horses (I'm actually a vet!) and all the new literature points towards letting them crib. I have boarded and I know it is a nightmare to board a cribber so I completely sympathize with you. Would showing any of the current veterinary literature on cribbing to your barn owner help at all? I can send you some journal articles...
cribbing seems to be an OCD type disorder,is there a human med. to try off label? FWIW big time cribber at barn were I board had the surgery this spring, and started cribbing again when frost killed the grass this fall. He does it differently but it is still cribbing.
Does anyone have a mare that cribs? I have only ever seen it in geldings.
I have a mare that is a windsucker. Or can be, anyway. It is definitely a boredom thing for her. She is now living in a 3 - 4 acre pasture with a run-in and I NEVER see her crib there.
The only time she will crib is when she is shut in a stall with a bucket to crib on. Such as when we take her to a show.
This is purely observational, but she is now on SmartDigest Ultra (for the ColicCare) and at the last show, her cribbing was very minimal. My horse was stalled next door and I hardly noticed her rattling her bucket.
My old mare is a casual cribber. Did the collar thing for years and hated seeing her in it. After enough research I realized the worse damage she was going to do was to the barn and her teeth. I bought a handicap shower bar at Lowe's, covered it in heavy plastic hosing and afixed it to her stall at a comfy height. Kept baiting it with molasses and after a few days it became her favorite and only place to crib. Barn is safe and according to her dentist, teeth look great too.
Hell hath no fury like the chestnut thoroughbred mare
I really wish I could just let him crib on something I provide, but that's not a solution for this barn because trainer lives in barn apt and can hear him from the stall, and she can't be unconvinced with research that other horses will not take up cribbing if they see him crib. The other cribbers in the barn have to wear collars too, but they won't try cribbing if the chance of not succeeding is statistically significant.
I was the barclay collar I tried, and I sent it back at the end of the guarantee trial time since it was not for us. It didn't work well at all on him because the particular way he cribs (stretching his neck instead of curling it) wouldn't activate it, but then it would activate when he was playing around. He didn't care about getting shocked anyways.
There's no way I'm putting hog rings in his mouth... I bet he'd still crib despite the pain anyways :/
He has dismantled electric fences for fun since he was a weanling and having an electric fence has never deterred him so far. I don't think I would be allowed to put electric fence up in his stall because of the electricity use, and his paddock is electric but he just cribs on the edges of the posts. He is too darn smart and insensitive for his own good! The little problem solver thinks he's just getting puzzles to keep his brain active.
My mare is a fierce cribber, just like yours, inside, outside, doesn't matter where she is, she'll crib. I have the Dare collar as tight as I can get it, and that seems to help, at least a little more than the others did.
I just started ulcer treatment, not sure if that will help. I am wondering if some sort of anti anxiety med might be the next step. She almost gets this neurotic look when she cribs, and will sit there and crib on the cross ties while I'm grooming her. She doesn't appear to be a worrier, but who knows.
Anyways, sorry no help here, but I feel your pain. I own 2 cribbers, my barn owner is a saint for putting up with them. My other one has hardly any front teeth, so he's stopped cribbing as much.
Here is something that I used that stopped my pony's cribbing 100%. It's free too. It's gross but effective, you'll need gloves I got tired of him cribbing and rubbed his own fresh manure on all the surfaces he cribbed on. Stopped him dead. He wouldn't touch anything with manure on it. I've since sold that pony so don't know if his new owner continued the treatment.
"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."
Can you move him farther away from the apartment? Or change his living arrangements( like to a stall with 24/7 paddock?) The only thing that stopped my horse was electric fencing. You may just have to move him to a place that wiull allow him to crib.
Hmm I dont know about the US but in Europe its possible to do surgery against cribbing.. I think they cut some muscles which prevents the horse from sucking air...
We did it many years ago with a horse an now 10 years later its still notcribbing
IMO well invested money...