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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep. 28, 2012
    Posts
    9

    Default To buy a cribber?

    I am considering flying out to try an 8 year old jumper who is an admitted "light cribber." I have never owned a cribber before. Something tells me I should be very wary. But then again, I once new a heavy cribber that performed in the hunter ring until she was 19 years old without any issues. Thoughts??



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 10, 2010
    Posts
    80

    Default

    I just adopted a light cribber in January - my first. He's actually great and hardly cribs at all. The key is that he's controlled with a collar. If he has that on he doesn't even bother trying. We have another horse in the barn who is an awful cribber though, even with a collar, and it drives my BO crazy. In all honesty, my guy doesn't bother me at all and I was worried about it initially. I do notice he cribs more when he's stressed (no turnout, ulcer flare up, etc) so it makes me be a little more proactive about his management. We also have a hot wire running along the pasture fence, so he doesn't crib on turnout and can go without his collar.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 28, 2012
    Posts
    9

    Default

    That's good FB. Everyone in my barn is turned out all day (at least 7-8 hours) and the fence is hot wire as well. They have feed in front of them except at night. Also all the horses are on Gastroshield as we are very sensitive to the occurence of ulcers in sport horses. I wonder if that'll help. Thanks RR.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2004
    Location
    Saratoga Springs, NY
    Posts
    4,556

    Default

    I've got several confirmed crabbers in the barn, with no ill effects to thier health. They are better with collars, have free choice hay and live out 24/7, with Hotwire around the paddocks. Opulent turn down another one, based on that, alone.
    Different Times Equestrian Ventures at Hidden Spring Ranch
    www.DifferentTimesEquestrianVentures.com



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2011
    Location
    So California
    Posts
    2,935

    Default

    One of mine is a cribber. She must have been very bad, because her front teeth are worn down almost to the gums and she is only just thirteen. I've had her for a year and a half. I haven't seen her cribbing at all since I moved her into a small pasture with her dam about six months ago. Also she has gained a lot of weight (she was extremely thin when I got her, starved actually) and I wonder if having plenty of food has helped stop the cribbing. I feed alfalfa and I keep straw in a pile in the pasture (it's a dry lot so there's nothing to nibble on) for soft bedding and for something to mouth between meals. I've never had any medical issues with her.

    There's a nice article about cribbing in this month's Equus magazine. The gist is that studies are showing that cribbing may not be much of an issue health-wise, or at least not the issue for colic that it was always assumed to be.

    So basically, the problems I have noticed with my mare are the thick unsightly muscles under her neck which I assume are related to her cribbing, and the problems with the worn teeth.
    Last edited by PeteyPie; Mar. 30, 2013 at 11:08 PM. Reason: typo



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul. 14, 2010
    Location
    North AL
    Posts
    841

    Default

    My OTTB cribbed lightly when I got him, but I have him on 24/7 turn out with a run-in stall and he doesn't do it at all now. Before I moved him to our new farmette, he was boarded where they were turned out from about 6 am through 6-7 pm and he did very well there as long as he had a friend nearby! I would not hesitate to purchase another light cribber.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 9, 2008
    Location
    north of the Arctic Circle
    Posts
    632

    Default

    Doesn't bother me at all. We fall all over ourselves to cater to our performance horses... what's a little hotwire, extra hay, and a cheap collar compared to chiro, joint maintenance, training, saddle fitting, shoeing, etc.? Give me a sound, sensible cribber any day!
    "Winter's a good time to stay in and cuddle,
    but put me in summer and I'll be a... happy snowman!!!"

    Trolls be trollin'! -DH


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 12, 2012
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    108

    Default

    i have a "heavy" cribber. he will crib even with a cribbing collar on (no matter the type) and cribs between every bite of food. he's done this since the day i bought him 7 years ago and nothing i've done (from ulcer meds to free choice hay, etc.) has changed it much. his teeth are checked twice a year and floated as needed and he is harder to keep weight on (being a TB i'm sure has something to do with it as well). while i love this horse more than life itself, i personally will never knowingly buy another cribber. sadly, his cribbing was not disclosed to me prior to purchase (i was handed a miracle collar along with his lead rope when i went to pick him up).



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug. 4, 2009
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    4,111

    Default

    I own my own farm which does make a diffrence when buying a cribber.
    Currently I own 4 cribbers who with crib straps...not Miracle Collars...do not even think about it. We also have hot wire ample turn out and lots of hay.
    Sometimes I think the most talented horses are a bit OCD and need to crib..

    Cribing is the one vice that is supposed to be disclosed....



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 18, 2005
    Posts
    935

    Default

    I had a windsucker. Came with a molded-to-his-head cribbing collar. We put a metal covering over the top of his (wooden) stall door and that prevented stall damage because the surface was not desireable for him. Paints etc didn't work. What DID work - and I think this was a bit of a fluke - was cutting out pre-made grain. He ate hay/grass plus a combination of soaked BP with oats and a custom vitamin blend. If someone gave him a pre-made horse treat, even if he hadn't cribbed/wind sucked in months - you could bet a million dollars he'd be on that door.

    I believe his case was unusual, as I do think it is a self-rewarding behavior that can become a habit even if the original "cause" is removed. Given that I got him when he was 12 (and the no pre-made grain started when he was 14) I am surprised that he stopped.

    Again, I think his story is atypical and it was helpful that he was kept at home (thus we could make any changes to the stall without problem.) Now that I'm really thinking about it, low-lying chronic pain might have also played a part, as we doubled his joint supplement with the beet pulp - AND - his wind sucking in the pasture stopped once we understood his soundness concerns better.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb. 1, 2012
    Location
    Vermont
    Posts
    5,245

    Default

    I think when a horse cribs, one must ask themselves "Why might this horse be cribbing?"

    Cribbing is a sign of ulcers, and if you have a show horse that is stuffed into a stall with limited turnout, frequent trailering, and who gets ridden frequently, I would ask myself if the lifestyle of the horse could be a contributing factor.
    "If you think nobody cares about you, try missing a couple payments..."



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 31, 2011
    Location
    Cynthiana KY (~40 min. NE of Lexington)
    Posts
    556

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by judybigredpony View Post
    I own my own farm which does make a diffrence when buying a cribber.
    ........................................We also have hot wire ample turn out and lots of hay.
    Sometimes I think the most talented horses are a bit OCD and need to crib..
    Yes, some BO of boarding barns get weird about cribbers, so check with yours if you board.

    And I agree that ssome of the most talented horses I've known had some kind of vice, cribbing or weaving are pretty prevalent. I've wondered sometimes if its the sensitive/talented part that makes them tend toward vices, or the fact that the more talented the horse the more likely they are kept in separate turnout, stalled a lot to try to prevent them from hurting themselves.

    I agree with what most everyone has said. Cribbing, especially mild, isn't a real cause for concern. I don't even use straps for my cribbers. The horse we have currently that cribs, does it rarely, generally only while he his eating his grain. We give him mylanta or milk of magnesia right before feeding him, and also add water to his feed. That seems to have reduced the amount of cribbing at feedtime that he does too.

    Sheila
    Sheila Zeltt
    Chestnut Run Stable & Zeltt Racing Stable
    www.Zeltt.com
    Standing "Tiz Brian" at Stud, 16.1 h bay TB by Tiznow



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 30, 2006
    Location
    Middle Tennessee
    Posts
    4,880

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by In_ View Post
    What DID work - and I think this was a bit of a fluke - was cutting out pre-made grain. He ate hay/grass plus a combination of soaked BP with oats and a custom vitamin blend. If someone gave him a pre-made horse treat, even if he hadn't cribbed/wind sucked in months - you could bet a million dollars he'd be on that door.

    I believe his case was unusual, as I do think it is a self-rewarding behavior that can become a habit even if the original "cause" is removed. Given that I got him when he was 12 (and the no pre-made grain started when he was 14) I am surprised that he stopped.
    Your horse sounds a lot like mine. I've had my mare her whole life and she started cribbing at 2.5yrs. She wasn't even being ridden or worked at the time and lived out 24/7 with free choice hay/grass and only a small about of ration balancer to eat. I had her scoped when she began cribbing and NO ulcers-- possibly the cleanest stomach I have ever seen.

    She's always been a super easy keeper and VERY food motivated. Treats are pretty much her only reason for living. And that's when she cribs-- when food/treats are involved. It's worse if it's sweet/sugary treats. Many folks, especially on this BB, keep saying "ulcers, ulcers, ulcers," but I truly do not believe that is the case for my horse. Several studies have cited cribbing releasing endorphins and even stimulating a sweet taste. When I feed her something other than hay, like feed or treats, she tries to mug you for more when it's gone. If there's no more, then she goes and cribs.

    A few years ago, after reading about the sweet-taste stimulation, I cut out ALL sweet/starchy treats (if I felt she deserved a food reward, she got a hay cube). Her cribbing was greatly reduced. But... I like spoiling my horses and enjoy giving them treats occasionally... so I stopped worrying about it. It's really not a big deal to me if she cribs now and then.

    But to the OP-- it's really a personal choice. If you like the horse and you can tolerate the cribbing (and your barn will take a cribber), it shouldn't be a deal breaker. Just keep in mind there are so, so many folks who are completely anti-cribbing that you may have boarding or resale issues down the road...
    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO



  14. #14
    Join Date
    May. 16, 2000
    Posts
    1,389

    Default

    Cribbers run the spectrum from those kept in check with collars, turnout, or other modifications, to obsessive, destructive, and teeth worn to nubs. I also have seen windsuckers, including one of my own, develop choke and have always wondered if there is a correlation.

    Cribbing isn't a deal-breaker for me as most can be ameliorated, but Texarkana has a good point about boarding and resale. Many folks avoid cribbers.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 14, 2007
    Location
    Pen Argyl PA
    Posts
    3,873

    Default

    i always said NEVER but my horse was perfect for me so i bought him. his cribbing is easy enough to manage. i would def. Buy another cribber if he was a good horse.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan. 21, 2011
    Posts
    272

    Default

    Many horses who crib do so because of stress. If you address the root of the stress, the cribbing often decreases or disappears. Granted, there are chronic cribbers who have the habit so ingrained that it never goes away, but they can be managed, as others have mentioned. Many cribbers in one barn would be a deal breaker for me boarding there, but 'light cribbing' in and of itself would not stop me from buying a nice horse. With that said, I'd take a good hard look to make sure the horse hasn't developed any other ill effects from long-term cribbing.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb. 6, 2000
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    12,712

    Default

    Probably the best horse I've ever owned was a cribber.
    It wouldn't be a deal-breaker for me, if the horse were otherwise suitable.
    "It's like a Russian nesting doll of train wrecks."--CaitlinandTheBay

    ...just settin' on the Group W bench.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    May. 9, 2001
    Location
    Lake County, IL
    Posts
    1,244

    Default

    I bought a 6 year old OTTB last fall and found out he is a windsucker 30 minutes after the trailer that dropped him off left. Surprise!

    I do not put a collar on him, as he mainly only does this when he eats out of his bucket. He takes a few mouthfuls and then latches on the edge of his bucket and gives a good grunt. He does not chew wood at all, and very rarely do I see him latch on to his dutch door. He has hay in front of him 24/7 in his stall in a slow feeder net, and then for most of the day outside has hay to eat.

    I always said I would never own a horse with this vice, but he actually seems to be better adjusted than any other OTTB I have ever owned because I believe he can self-sooth with this habit. Instead of being stressed out about life, he is able to go to his happy place.

    I did put him on pop rocks because of some grumpiness that started when grooming, and he's been right as rain getting 2 packs a day.

    If the windsucking is the worst habit my horse has, I'll take it. He's amazing in every other respect, and again, the best OTTB I've ever owned.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct. 15, 2010
    Posts
    202

    Default

    Another vote for not passing up an otherwise suitable horse just because it cribbed. The most talented and athletic horse I ever owned was a crazy heavy cribber.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr. 15, 2011
    Posts
    448

    Default

    I bought my OTTB gelding right off the track as a "mild cribber". At our previous barn, he wore the DARE collar which worked 100%. I am now at a barn with 15 hour a day turnout on grass pasture and free choice hay. After the first week I removed his collar, and it hasnt been on since! He does not crib at all outside, and when he comes in, he takes a few "hits" when eating grain, then relaxes and eats his hay. I stuff a nibble net with small holes full of hay, which keeps him occupied and slows down the eating. I think that he enjoyes pulling strands of hay out of the net, and it sort of takes the place of cribbing. The Nibble Net is like bringing the pasture into his stall, in a sense.

    I did the same thing as Marcella and gave him a dose of pop rocks in the prior barn. They definitely worked for him. Now with the ample turnout, I haven't needed that again.
    "I am still under the impression there is nothing alive quite so beautiful
    as a thoroughbred horse."

    -JOHN GALSWORTHY



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