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why is cribbing bad?

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  • #61
    Originally posted by Tehzebra View Post
    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....
    Cribbing IS windsucking. Otherwise they are just chewing wood.

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    • #62
      There are a ton of studies on cribbing and genetics/ulcers/management/nutrition etc. etc. etc.

      Here are a few

      http://scholar.google.ca/scholar?q=u...2C5&as_sdtp=on

      http://scholar.google.ca/scholar?hl=..._ylo=&as_vis=0
      "Those who know the least often know it the loudest."

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      • #63
        Originally posted by Nezzy View Post
        Cribbing IS windsucking. Otherwise they are just chewing wood.
        Cribbing, taking a hold of something and pulling back is one part of windsucking.
        Windsucking can be done without cribbing, while a cribbing horse does windsuck too.

        I think that true windsuckers, those that learn to just gulp air, are not that common, or I have not seen many, while I have seen plenty of cribbing horses.

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        • #64
          Originally posted by Bluey View Post
          Cribbing, taking a hold of something and pulling back is one part of windsucking.
          Windsucking can be done without cribbing, while a cribbing horse does windsuck too.

          I think that true windsuckers, those that learn to just gulp air, are not that common, or I have not seen many, while I have seen plenty of cribbing horses.
          I had a wind sucker. Had never seen one so it took me a while to figure out what the tar she was doing (looked like a demon mare doing it, too, I have a photo somewhere)

          Funny thing, I picked her up the same day I picked up the mare who was a cribber. Two different barns. From two different states. (I just have that kind of luck I guess) But they were by the same sire. Whether that had anything to do with it I never actually considered. Both had been on the track, so I attributed it to that.
          Owned by a Paint/TB and an OTTB.
          RIP Scoutin' For Trouble ~ 2011 at 10
          RIP Tasha's Last Tango ~ 2010 at ~23
          RIP In Sha' Allah ~ 2009 too young at 5

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          • #65
            In addition to the stomach problems it causes, it keeps the horse sore in the front end, continuously. The neck especially will be sore because of him pulling back all the time, then it moves into the withers/shoulders and pecs. I've found this to be true while doing the massage therapy-all horses that were sore in these areas, were cribbers.
            Equine Massage Therapy Classes and Rehab for Horses
            http://www.midwestnha.wordpress.com[/INDENT]

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            • #66
              Originally posted by MassageLady View Post
              In addition to the stomach problems it causes, it keeps the horse sore in the front end, continuously. The neck especially will be sore because of him pulling back all the time, then it moves into the withers/shoulders and pecs. I've found this to be true while doing the massage therapy-all horses that were sore in these areas, were cribbers.
              Happens with any repetitive motions, they tend to cause chronic injuries.

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              • #67
                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.
                Yes, studies have 'proven' that horses do not learn cribbing from other horses. Apparently the researchers forget how difficult it is to prove a negative! Maybe there are OTHER factors, such as a genetic inclination that has not been 'triggered' by exposure to the behavior, which is missing in the experimental group (though I don't believe anyone has ever actually done any kind of controlled experimental study!). Theses studies are small consolation to the owner of a horse who never cribbed before it was stabled next to a cribber!

                According to the reseracher involved in the oft-cited Cornell study (which was an owner survey!), it is noted that about 1% of cribbers started cribbing after exposure to another cribber. I sincerely doubt the study was limited to owners of cribbers who owned the horse at the time the horse started cribbing? Undoubtedly there are environmental and genetic aspects.... The child of an alcoholic who hangs out with 'bad kids' is more likely to become an alcoholic than the child of a non-addict who spends weekends helping at the soup kitchen! But sometimes the child of a reformed addict discovers booze despite the parent's best efforts and environment, and sometimes out of the blue a kid with no predisposition gets in with the wrong crowd and ends up in the gutter....
                Last edited by ThirdCharm; May. 6, 2012, 11:40 AM.
                Third Charm Event Team

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                • #68
                  When I had a cribber, he did not destroy barns, he did not crib rather than eat, he did not build up the "wrong" neck muscles and he did not wear down his teeth. He seemed happier when allowed to crib, so--as he didn't hit any of the above points--we just let him.

                  IME, cribbers are often quite clever horses as well.
                  Quite agree and some of the most talented athletic top horses Crib...

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Originally posted by Bluey View Post
                    Cribbing, taking a hold of something and pulling back is one part of windsucking.
                    Windsucking can be done without cribbing, while a cribbing horse does windsuck too.

                    I think that true windsuckers, those that learn to just gulp air, are not that common, or I have not seen many, while I have seen plenty of cribbing horses.
                    Ok, well i don't know how they would suck wind without holding anything. Cribbing is holding something while sucking wind.

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                    • #70
                      Originally posted by Nezzy View Post
                      Cribbing IS windsucking. Otherwise they are just chewing wood.
                      Cribbing, taking a hold of something and pulling back is one part of windsucking.
                      Windsucking can be done without cribbing, while a cribbing horse does windsuck too.

                      I think that true windsuckers, those that learn to just gulp air, are not that common, or I have not seen many, while I have seen plenty of cribbing horses.
                      Yes this is what I meant. A "True windsucker" who didnt latch on to things in order to suck wind.
                      Clancy 17hh chestnut Dutch WB, '99. Owned and loved since '04 and still goin'!

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                      • #71
                        The worst thing about cribbing is all the misinformation and lack of education and common sense that surrounds it.

                        Comment


                        • #72
                          Someone said they do it to release endomorphines, and if you learn the points ( I think of acupuncture) you can stimulate those points yourself. I think I saw someone knocking them on their forehead ( like you would knock on a door, but not as hard). Anyone can ask their local acupuncturist for those points.

                          Comment


                          • #73
                            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]
                            That is very intresting! I wonder if anyone has ever studied Cushings' (PPID) afflicted horses that were cribbers, to find out if cribbing increases or decreases as their PPID worsens, sinc PPID horses apparently do not have enough dopamine. (IIRC the reason pergolide helps these horses is that it is a dooamine agonist.)

                            Edited to add, isn't dextromethophan a cough medicine ingredient? I wonder if putting such dextromethorphan syrup on feed of a cribber would reduce the occurrence of the behavior? Similarly to what one of the other posters observed, my mare cribs less when she has more hay, and even less so when that hay is alfalfa.

                            ETA2, Gumshoe, I love your succinct observation of "The worst thing about cribbing is all the misinformation and lack of education and common sense that surrounds it."

                            ETA3, thanks for those links to articles! I found this one to be very interesting and thought-provokingL http://references.equine-behaviour.d...D_285_nagy.pdf
                            My 'take home message' from that one was this observation "Our results suggest that since prevention may significantly increase distress, the treatment in itself, without changing the motivation of the horse to
                            perform the replacement behaviour - it seems to be unsatisfactory and insufficient." This article was about the Forsell's procedure, BTW.
                            Last edited by sdlbredfan; May. 6, 2012, 11:57 PM.
                            Jeanie
                            RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.

                            Comment


                            • #74
                              OH PLEASE! Horses do NOT learn to crib from cribbers. They either crib or dont.

                              My horse cribs, not a big deal. Had him almost 10 yrs. He is a great horse, so I consider it his one annoying vice.

                              I made him a cribbing station in his stall. Figured if he's gonna windsuck, then he might as well do it safely.

                              I tied several old leadropes on the front gate of his stall. He uses those to windsuck. No wear and tear on his teeth, since the rope is soft. Prevents him from tearing up his stall.

                              He is the only windsucker in our barn. NO OTHER HORSES HAVE picked up the habit from his, I repeat, NO OTHER HORSES started to windsuck after they have been around him.

                              He is out during the day w/15ish horses, so he is not sheltered from other horses.

                              He will be 16 yrs old, and is VERY healthy. I just see windsucking as an annoyance, but fail to see it as being a huge health issue.

                              JMO!
                              Riding is NOT meant as an inside sport, GET out of that arena!!!

                              Comment


                              • #75
                                My mare windsucks (she swings her nose towards her chest and gulps on air). She started at the track. She is rather chunky for a TB (everyone thinks she is a WB or WB cross) and the trainer tried to get her slimmer to see if she would run faster. When they cut back her hay she started eating the straw bedsing, then they switched her to shavings and that's when she started. My best guess is that she developed ulcers and was bored so started to self medicate. She used to be hardcore. Would windsuck in her stall (mostly when out of food), while getting tacked up, while getting walked, etc.

                                Since I have had her she cribs a lot less. She is happiest at a barn with lots of pasture turnout and getting fed lots of hay in her stall (the BO buys her less nutriciously dense hay so she can have more because she is an easy keeper). She gets no grain (just a pelleted mineral/vitamin supplement at feeding time). She will ocasionally windsuck a handful of times at feeding time when for some reason it's taking longer than usual or when I stress her out (for example, pulling her mane). Maybe twice a month when I turn her out after riding she will do it a handful of times. That is it. She did it the most at a fancy barn I had her at where she was in a paddock some days and they fed very rich hay (she woul get 1/2 to a flake at feeding and hoover it down within 15-20 min).

                                From all the research I have done over the years of owning her:

                                - Stereotypical behaviours are ways for horses to self mediate or sooth themselves, if you take away the ability to perform the behaviour but not the reason (poor management, ulcers, etc) the horse can become even more stressed.

                                - There does appear to be a hereditary component. Some of these horses will start doing it even on 24/7 turnout. Others, will never pick it up no matter how stressful the environment.

                                - There is a fair bit of research tying cribbing to ulcers. Apparently the release of saliva during cribbing can help to soothe the stomach lining. This is thought to be why many horses crib while being fed grain or treats. Some horses can develop ulcers at weaning time, and some even earlier (when still at dam's side, but starting to get concentrates) and they can start cribbing at a very young age.

                                - There appear to be conflicting opinions/studies on the colic debate. I would imagine that since many horses crib to soothe their ulcers, they are more prone to colic because of the ulcers and other stomach issues, not the cribbing itself. Some horses who crib never colic.

                                - Most studies show that it is not a learned habit. Many barns have only one cribber that came that way. In the barns where many horses start to crib, that is often a management issue. I the environment is stressful, it makes sense that horses would start cribbing. I would imagine that for some horses having a neighbour/turnout buddy who cribs non-stop would be cause enough of stress to cause cribbing in them. Saw this in a mare I groomed once. She was stabled next to a cribber and started to do it. Moved her immediately as far from him as possible & she stopped.

                                My apologies for the very long post, this is something I find very interesting because of so many different opinions an misconceptions. As much as I love my windsucker, I would never get a horse who is so bad that they choose to crib over eating and are very hard keepers. That would be too stressful for everyone involved.
                                www.equikneads.ca

                                Comment


                                • #76
                                  SOME horses may not learn to crib from watching others, but SOME horses DO learn it from others.

                                  My horse is a prime example. At the time he was 3 years old, and had never cribbed on anything, and I know both of his parents and neither of them have ever cribbed either. He was turned out in a pasture with another gelding that was a cribber. One day I noticed both geldings in their run-in shed, the cribber was going to town on the center divider....then I WATCHED my gelding start biting down right next to him. He wasn't trying to eat wood, but was trying to mimic what the other horse was doing. Luckily I put a collar on the other horse and they never did it again. My horse is very curious by nature and is always looking to get into trouble one way or another. So it didnt surprise me one bit that he was quick to pick up the habit.

                                  Some horses may be prone to addiction more than others. Just like people. Some people have addictive personalities. Also, take into consideration, that not ALL horses are going to feel the same endophines as others do from cribbing. Just like people react differently to medicines. I think every cribber is different.

                                  I actually know a horse that will colic if she doesn't crib. True story. Somebody explain that one.
                                  Twin Pond Farm

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                                  • #77
                                    Originally posted by MassageLady View Post
                                    In addition to the stomach problems it causes,
                                    What stomach problems does it cause? I thought it was predisposed by stomach problems.

                                    Comment


                                    • #78
                                      Both of mine crib, and I know the breeders for both of my horses. One wasn't a cribber until he was exposed to other cribbers at a trainer's barn, the other was the only cribber at the breeding facility from fillyhood to adult age, so no one to "learn" it from. I think some horses are just more predisposed to pick it up, or have the tendency inherently. Both are incredibly intelligent horses and stress out about everything.
                                      So far no one else has picked it up from them, but who knows. I've caught one of the OTTBs mouthing the fence occasionally, I'm hoping it wasn't because of my horses.

                                      Comment


                                      • #79
                                        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.
                                        My big dressage gelding spent three days at a show stabled next to a cribber and came home attempting to crib. Caught him at the hooking teeth and pulling back but not actually making the "gulping" sound. I put him in a collar immediately and that stoped him. Took the collar off a couple weeks later and caught him trying to crib again. Put the collar back on and this time left it on all fall and winter. He has not gone back to trying since (9 years?). So, I do believe they can learn from each other!

                                        Comment


                                        • #80
                                          I don't know too much about cribbing, and hope I don't have to learn anytime soon! But, I did watch a pony crib using his chin...instead of biting down, he rested his chin on top of the board and cribbed! Pretty crazy to watch...
                                          "On the back of a horse I felt whole, complete, connected to that vital place in the center of me...and the chaos within me found balance."

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