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why is cribbing bad?

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  • #41
    I've had success with the French Cribbing Strap, after trying several others that my filly merrily cribbed right through.

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    • #42
      I've had a few, but aside from the annoyance of putting on the strap and adding hotwire to the fencing if you don't have it already, I don't think it's that big a deal.

      Mine weren't destructive or losing weight with the collar on (I had the best luck with the simple nutcracker ones, covered in fleece). I definitely prefer a non-cribber, but the ones I've had weren't too inconvenient.

      Comment


      • #43
        My gelding cribs and it's really not too bad. He cribs through the collar, but it does seem to slow him down. He's on 24/7 pasture board and still does it. Luckily he likes firm surfaces, so rarely does it on anything other than the run-in shed. He's not committed, just a few here and there. I'm thinking of giving him a jolly ball to see if that distracts him.

        He actually seemed to like a stall better, but this is cheaper and gives him unlimited hay. We'll see, I may switch him around.

        There's another mare at the barn who is AWFUL. She will crib on anything! That kind of cribber I wouldn't touch.

        (On another note: Bravo is in the Miracle Collar now. Is it worth trying another collar? This slows him down but doesn't stop him.)

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        • #44
          We had a broodmare, a Princequillo daughter, that cribbed so bad she would stand all day in the pasture, while the other mares left to go grazing and until they came back, cribbing on the top of a fence post, her foal bored alone.
          When we fed, she go eat a bit of alfalfa, then back to the stump to crib.

          We didn't keep her but a few months, maybe someone else with different management could keep her doing better, she didn't fit with our broodmares.

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          • #45
            Originally posted by PRS View Post
            I've never seen the habit START in a horse out 24/7 but once they've acquired the habit being out 24/7 won't break it. When I did turn my cribbers out they didn't crib as much as when they were stalled though.
            Happened to me!

            I had a gelding I bought when he was 4 who cribbed since the day he was born practically (his mother was a terrible cribber). I raised two foals in the same barn as he...one is now 8 and the other is 3 and neither of them cribbed. My cribber gelding was just put down in December at the age of 30...healthy his entire life (no top teeth of course!). My 3 yr old, who lives out 24/7 and has for the last year, started cribbing about 2 months *after* my lifelong cribber gelding died.

            I've hotwired all of his posts (all I ever saw him crib on were the fence posts) and hopefully have nipped this soon enough that the habit can be broken. I hope. I lived with a cribber for 26 years and was happy that my remaining two did not!

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            • #46
              Originally posted by sportinghorsepolo View Post
              I've had success with the French Cribbing Strap, after trying several others that my filly merrily cribbed right through.
              I recently got this (Tory makes it I think) to have as my "alternate" strap. the DARE collar works perfectly, but I would like to do one week on, one week off with two straps so his skin gets a break.

              I tried the french strap this past week. It has a different shape, when I look at the horse, each side "wings out". In the morning, the entire strap was rotated. I suspect that when he laid down in his stall, the "winged out" area just rotated from his weight. Does this make sense? Or does this mean I didnt have it tight enough?
              "I am still under the impression there is nothing alive quite so beautiful
              as a thoroughbred horse."

              -JOHN GALSWORTHY

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              • #47
                Originally posted by SmartAlex View Post
                I just Googled cribbing rings. Yowser. That'd make me stop.

                Kind of like hog rings.
                That's what they are.
                ~Veronica
                "The Son Dee Times" "Sustained" "Somerset" "Franklin Square"
                http://photobucket.com/albums/y192/vxf111/

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                • #48
                  Monokeros, I am not a miracle collar fan. If I tightened it enough, it gave my mare headaches. Otherwise it was useless and moved quite a bit. I would get the nutcracker one and cover it in fleece. Use your miracle to alternate so your horse does not get eubs if he has sensitive skin.

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                  • #49
                    I now own my first cribber! Is there a clique I can be in??? However, she definitely chooses grazing over cribbing, and the guy who sold me her used a leather strap (not even a cribbing strap) around her throat to stop it. And it works, so I have kept the strap, added a fleece cover to it--and she wears it at night while in the stall. She does not have any weight problems, nor does she not crib enough to damage anything. Supposedly her mom was a cribber--so unfortunately, she was 3 when I got her and she had already learned it from Mom!

                    One interesting thing is that when I show at KY horse park, I noticed that she couldn't find anything in the stalls to crib on. She didn't wear her strap and she didn't crib all weekend. I decided that if I ever build my own barn, I am going to make a replica of their stall design for her!

                    So, other than the smooshed part of her mane from the strap, I really haven't noticed any other problems. But again, food is way more appealing to her than cribbing, so I guess she isn't a diehard cribber.

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                    • #50
                      My mare is a mild cribber. No weight problems, no colic in 6 years and she doesn't destroy/chew.
                      If it wasn't barn policy I wouldn't put the collar on her. She was without the collar for two years with the same results.

                      Comment


                      • #51
                        My friends gelding tore apart buckets, fences, and anything he could get his teeth on. She did not want a collar on him because it was mean. She would see the damage and say that it was not her problem. I thought it was so rude but not my issue and could do nothing to change her. The barn owner just put a muzzle on him in the stall so he would stop destroying everything. He was a welsh/tb and got a lot of time out but still cribbed like crazy.

                        My two cribbing horses were well managed with a collar. I had the nutcracker with fleece and a leather band collar.
                        I am on my phone 90% of the time. Please ignore typos, misplaced lower case letters, and the random word butchered by autocowreck.

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                        • #52
                          Originally posted by SwampYankee View Post

                          By the way, if anybody knows of a "strap" that works better than the standard ones or the Weaver Miracle Collar, please let me know. I've got one out there who goes right through even that. . . he needs to eat so I can't put him in the muzzle type. What's anyone tried that works?
                          The Rusty Dare collar IS THE best! It is one strap and it is not deathly tight. My horse has not cribbed a bit with it on and he is a TOP DOG cribber

                          Tried the miraicle collar - was no miraicle for him. It was so tight, always had to adjust it, he got dents on his head and he still cribbed!

                          Horses that crib seem to be quite intellegent for some reason.

                          Comment


                          • #53
                            Originally posted by PRS View Post
                            .

                            IMHO it is a habit that almost always begins when a horse is forced to live in an unnatural habitat (ie 12x12 stall) for long periods of time. I rarely see the habit in horses that have lots of turnout (12 hours or more per day) and I've never seen it begin in a 24/7 pasture kept horse. Doesn't mean it can't happen but it would have to be fairly rare.
                            I have the horse that is in the 'fairly rare' percentile. 24/7 turn out from a baby until a year go. Pasture turn out with lovely trees etc. He leared to crib on the trees. Never stalled before. Now he is in his 'unnatural habitat' lol btw, and is doing just fine. Wear his collar, yes but he is just fine.

                            Comment


                            • #54
                              I've always sort of looked at it like a neurosis of sorts, and wonder if the prototypical "poor doer" cribber is just cribbing because something bothers it all the time (physical, mental, whatever) rather than the cribbiing itself being physically bad in terms of colic, etc. Or, put another way, some horses crib just like some people self-mutilate or scratch themselves raw or pull their hair out . . . they have a compulsion to do so. And this may be linked to general anxiety which is also detrimental to their health. So it isn't the stereotypical behavior that makes the victim sick/anxious/thin/ulcery/colicky but the coexistent anxiety.

                              Not sure there's a shred of evidence to support this, however.
                              that's always been my thinking. And then these horses are probably suffering some kind of mental or emotional disorder that they self-treat by cribbing, and along comes some owner determined to prevent them from cribbing- not by treating the real problem, but just by stopping the symptom of the problem, with the collars and the rings etc.
                              You would think someone would be looking into medication to treat the mental problem instead. Searches only find this, though:


                              Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2001 Jan;68(1):49-51.

                              The effect of the NMDA receptor blocker, dextromethorphan, on cribbing in horses.

                              Rendon RA, Shuster L, Dodman NH.


                              Source

                              Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, 200 Westboro Road, North Grafton, MA 01536, USA.


                              Abstract

                              Stereotypic cribbing in horses is thought to involve excess dopaminergic activity within the striatum. Various models of stress-induced stereotypies including cribbing in horses postulate that stress stimulates the release of endorphins, triggering the release of striatal dopamine. Dopamine in turn activates basal ganglia motor programs, reinforcing behavior via a reward mechanism. Furthermore, the release of dopamine by endorphins has been shown to depend on activation of NMDA receptors. In the present study, horses identified as cribbers and volunteered by their owners were treated with the NMDA receptor antagonist dextromethorphan (DM). When DM was administered via jugular injection (1 mg/kg), eight of nine horses responded with reductions in cribbing rate (CR) compared to baseline, and cribbing was suppressed completely for a period of time in almost half of the horses tested.


                              PMID: 11274707 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

                              Comment


                              • #55
                                That was a thing I had on my facebook page for a while: "Dopamine and Serotonin: the only two things you *really* enjoy".
                                Click here before you buy.

                                Comment


                                • #56
                                  On, the "learned" behavior aspect, I used to work at a large facility with a variety of horses, and none learned the cribbing behavior from the cribbers. They were out in large pastures and managed well, over all.

                                  I was at a smaller farm that had one cribber. His pasture bud started cribbing. A weanling on the farm started cribbing, and one other adult non-cribber started wood chewing. This place stalled 12 hours a day and longer if the weather was bad. Hay was fairly limited (2 flakes/feeding) and they were largely grained. I think there was more going on here - perhaps they started to get ulcery and picked it up from the one cribber, but I really don't think it was just learned, I think the environmental issues also played into effect. I would bet if they were out 24/7 in large pastures with ample hay/grass they wouldn't have even tried. In fact the gut needs 24/7 grazing for optimal health, the two big meals a day kind of program does not promote that.
                                  Celtic Pride Farm
                                  www.celticpridefarm.com
                                  Become a fan on Facebook!

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                                  • #57
                                    Over the years we have had a few cribbers in our barn. Some boarders, some ours. A couple seemed more prone to colic, but could have been prone to colic anyways. Most have been harder to keep weight on. Each responded or didnt respond to different treatment. One we went through all sorts of collars which would work for a week or so, ended up in a metal muzzle that his mommy thought was mean and he learned to crib ON the muzzle. Funny the owners didnt like anything kept on him cause it was mean...they took him home to their new farm and got rid of him in a month or so because he was destroying their fence and barn. I dont mind a cribber if they are a pretty stellar horse. We have one. He cribs like mad, on just about everything, no colic and no teeth damage. Will not crib with a miracle collar but it gives him headaches and he goes a bit nuttzo so we stopped even trying. He is one of my best lesson horses and overall an awesome guy so we tolerate him.
                                    As far as how cribbing starts I have seen a variety. We have never had a horse learn it from another. We had one start it appeared after he came to our farm. Not a big change in how he was cared for, he didnt seem stressed, just started cribbing about a week after we got him. Had a couple that we sold start to crib after leaving us. For places with MORE turnout! I think some it can stem from boredom, discomfort, ulcers, stress etc, but I think others just have a predisposition for it and will start eventually. BTW most of the cribbers we have had were not stressed out high strung or nervous horses. The whys of cribbing are a mystery to me! But the effects can range greatly from seemingly none at all other than some minor fencing repair needed to colic, no teeth, weight loss etc stc

                                    Comment


                                    • #58
                                      Originally posted by Simkie View Post
                                      I believe there have been MULTIPLE studies that have proven this one false.

                                      Cribbing does seem to have a high genetic component, though. If the sire or dam cribs, the foal is more likely to crib, even if it NEVER sees another horse cribbing.
                                      Simkie, so far your right on for both points!

                                      Cribbing doesn't make them more prone to colic and horses don't pick up the habit around cribbers -- but if their mother cribs yes a baby may start as it does appear to be hereditary in nature. It is my belief that some of the intensity people employ attempting to stop cribbing is what makes horses do it more by making them more nervous/uncomfortable.

                                      Comment


                                      • #59
                                        Originally posted by wendy View Post
                                        that's always been my thinking. And then these horses are probably suffering some kind of mental or emotional disorder that they self-treat by cribbing, and along comes some owner determined to prevent them from cribbing- not by treating the real problem, but just by stopping the symptom of the problem, with the collars and the rings etc.
                                        You would think someone would be looking into medication to treat the mental problem instead. Searches only find this, though:


                                        Pharmacol Biochem Behav. 2001 Jan;68(1):49-51.

                                        The effect of the NMDA receptor blocker, dextromethorphan, on cribbing in horses.

                                        Rendon RA, Shuster L, Dodman NH.


                                        Source

                                        Department of Clinical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, 200 Westboro Road, North Grafton, MA 01536, USA.


                                        Abstract

                                        Stereotypic cribbing in horses is thought to involve excess dopaminergic activity within the striatum. Various models of stress-induced stereotypies including cribbing in horses postulate that stress stimulates the release of endorphins, triggering the release of striatal dopamine. Dopamine in turn activates basal ganglia motor programs, reinforcing behavior via a reward mechanism. Furthermore, the release of dopamine by endorphins has been shown to depend on activation of NMDA receptors. In the present study, horses identified as cribbers and volunteered by their owners were treated with the NMDA receptor antagonist dextromethorphan (DM). When DM was administered via jugular injection (1 mg/kg), eight of nine horses responded with reductions in cribbing rate (CR) compared to baseline, and cribbing was suppressed completely for a period of time in almost half of the horses tested.


                                        PMID: 11274707 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
                                        All I can say is of the two I had most recently that were cribbers, I kept hay in front of them 24x7, ample turnout and no paraphernalia to attempt to control it (no collars, muzzles) and both cribbed on a limited basis. If at times the situation changed (at a horse show for example) they might crib more but once home a good environment made them moderate to light cribbers again. Cribbing is definitely stress related (direct or indirect) in my opinion.

                                        Comment


                                        • #60
                                          When Cribbing turns to Wind Sucking, thats when things get bad. We had a mare, 24/7 turn out, start cribbing on the fences and trees one day. Tried French Collar....never stayed on properly and the kids would never put it on tight enough. Eventually, her cribbing progressed to plain ole wind sucking.... she wouldn't bite onto anything, she would just stand there and crib on the air. The collars wouldnt stop it. She would sometimes crib while being ridden if stopped for too long. I guess only plus side was the damage to the fences slowed down significantly.... Im not really sure what became of her though....
                                          Clancy 17hh chestnut Dutch WB, '99. Owned and loved since '04 and still goin'!

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