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cribbing!#@%$^

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  • cribbing!#@%$^

    My homebred has started cribbing! It's awful, only in the pasture, she gets tons of turnout w/ others, big new field with some winter forage, grass hay round bale, 11% pellets, grass hay/alfalfa mix in stalls at night. Hasn't been in serious work since deep freeze hit VA so it doesn't seem stress-related. Could it be boredom? No other cribbers on farm.
    What should I do to nip it in the bud, I'm horrified! Should I get a strap or try stomach soother or both? thanks for any advice.

  • #2
    One of my homebreds started cribbing as a yearling-it's so frustrating! I went with a collar because I couldn't come up with another answer as to why he started. His new owners had him on GUT(I think) but he still had to wear a collar. His dam never cribbed, but she is a weaver(situational,not constant) and his half brother seems to have a sensitive stomach so I don't know if that means there is a genetic link or not. His lifestyle at my place was alot like yours-plenty of turnout, low stress, etc. so maybe it can't always be prevented despite our best intentions.
    http://thepitchforkchronicles.com

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    • #3
      It happens.

      When my filly started cribbing, I tried everything I could to nip it. Nothing "cured" her. She's now a tried and true cribber.

      It's very, very frustrating... makes you feel like a bad horse parent.
      Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

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      • #4
        I've heard there has been an association between ulcers and cribbing. It might be that your horse has ulcers and that is encouraging the cribbing. I would treat immediately to see if you can nip it in the bud before it becomes a well established vice.
        Altamont Sport Horses
        Trakehners * Knabstruppers * Appaloosa Sport Horses
        Home of stallions: Ambrosius af Asgard "Atlantis" & Hollywood Hot Spot
        Birmingham, AL

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        • #5
          I have two diehard cribbers. Mostly after they have eaten. I am trying Stomach Soother.
          Only a week into it so I'll let you know if it works. Straps are off and I am watching for progress.
          I did read that now cribbing is thought to be genetic. Sort of makes you feel a little better.
          At least you didn't cause it!
          Lilykoi


          Hell hath no fury like the chestnut thoroughbred mare

          Comment


          • #6
            My filly started at about 9 months. Just like others say no good reason for it. She was on 24/7 turn out with plenty of grass.

            I tried every thing to get her to stop, even treated her for an ulcer.

            The only reason that makes sense is the theory that they do it for the lack of other young companions. I had my girl turned out with my elderly gelding. Lack of grooming and frolicking?

            Now, she is a devoted cribber!
            No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle. ~Winston Churchill

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            • Original Poster

              #7
              Yes, it does seem like she figured this out all by herself, and it's not like she lives at the track or anything, ugh. Mom never cribbed, never heard that Dad did, but I actually never asked either.
              I bought one of those metal-bar muzzles this morning, it seems as though the cribbing morphed from wood chewing when they hang around the gate. I HOPE when the grass comes back she'll be busier with that. Her value just plummeted though, kind of like my stocks... oh well.

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              • #8
                LOL take a deep breath, and relax. Some horses are more suseptable to stress situations than others. Some see stress in situations that others do not. In your horse's case, it may have been the cold weather that stressed her. If they feel stress, cribbing is one of the things that they can either invent on their own or learn from watching others to help to soothe their stresses. Repetitive and habitual behaviour will release endorphines, which make them feel better. Then they become addicted to the endorphines, and do not stop long after the source of stress is gone. As long as they do not crib enough to make themselves sick, it is not necessary to put a strap on them. The pain from ulcers will put stress on a horse, and is often seen in conjunction with cribbing for this reason, and stress is involved with each of these things. What constitutes "stress" for each and every individual horse is a different as each individual personality. Personality is partially hereditary, so that is something to consider. But that sensitive personality that perhaps is more suseptable to stresses of life can also be the personalities who care about other things, about being so super careful about clearing the top rail of the jump you ask them to jump. That is not necessarily a bad thing. Many/most of my best competitors both showjumping and racing have been cribbers, they care, it matters to them. The human gets used to it over time, learns to accept the warts as well as the wins.

                I have a darling filly, so sensitive and engaging and intelligent. She started cribbing the day she was weaned, the VERY DAY. None of the other weanlings weaned with her needed to do this to deal with weaning, but she did. She jumps SOOOOO awesome, an overachiever in everything she does. It is no wonder she needed to crib, with her sensitive attitude. I think she is just GREAT!! I don't care if a potential purchaser may not want to buy her because she cribs. If they don't buy her because of this, may they have to compete against her instead! The curse! HA!

                Comfort yourself that you probably have some less than perfect habits that really bug your horse, and your horse probably puts up with these, if you perform adequately as a owner, rider, trainer. Nobody is perfect in all respects.
                www.cordovafarm.weebly.com

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Texarkana View Post
                  It happens.

                  When my filly started cribbing, I tried everything I could to nip it. Nothing "cured" her. She's now a tried and true cribber.

                  It's very, very frustrating... makes you feel like a bad horse parent.
                  It has nothing to do with your management. It has nothing to do with anything you do or do not do. Like you said, it just happens. They do not "learn it", its not form stress, its not from boredom, its just something certain horses seem to start doing.

                  Its not controlled by ulcer meds and and its not anything anybody does wrong. It is very likely genetic and recessive so you may not be aware the horse is carrying the genes until the wheel deals out the right combo.

                  But please, please do not feel its your fault and to those who think they "prevent cribbing" through management please stop insulting those who wake up one day and find a cribber on their farm.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I have truly come to believe that cribbing is a genetic "thing" in their DNA or something. Some are born with the tendency, some without. I have a 14 year old Dutch Warmblood. He grew up roaming the giant fields of his breeder's farm with his buddies, has had a good life, I've treated him with a full course of Gastrogard, and he is a cribbing addict. Has been all his life. I control it with the Miracle Collar, but the second that thing comes off he's back at it. I also have a six year old OTTB who had 32 starts, in a stall all day when he was at the track, was practically starved to death when I found him and bought him and he lives in the same paddock as the diehard cribber. He has never even attempted to crib on anything, I've never even seen him put his mouth on something. I truly don't think there is a rhyme or reason to it. Some horses are just hard-wired to crib and in other horses that mechanism just doesn't exist. JMO.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by dwblover View Post
                      I have truly come to believe that cribbing is a genetic "thing" in their DNA or something. Some are born with the tendency, some without. I have a 14 year old Dutch Warmblood. He grew up roaming the giant fields of his breeder's farm with his buddies, has had a good life, I've treated him with a full course of Gastrogard, and he is a cribbing addict. Has been all his life. I control it with the Miracle Collar, but the second that thing comes off he's back at it. I also have a six year old OTTB who had 32 starts, in a stall all day when he was at the track, was practically starved to death when I found him and bought him and he lives in the same paddock as the diehard cribber. He has never even attempted to crib on anything, I've never even seen him put his mouth on something. I truly don't think there is a rhyme or reason to it. Some horses are just hard-wired to crib and in other horses that mechanism just doesn't exist. JMO.
                      Totally agree with this. Otherwise they would all try it when they see it. I do think chewing is learned though.
                      DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/

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                      • #12
                        Cribbing is genetic, nothing you nor the horse did. Put a collar on if the muzzle does not stop it.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          glad to read some of these responses. My boy is turned out on the farm with another gelding who has resumed cribbing. The owner of the other horse (a rescue of sorts) said he was cribbing at the farm where she got him and attributed it to him not having been feed for a couple of days. She brought him here, he did not crib for a while, but has recently started wood chewing and cribbing again. It is upsetting to me, (I know it is not a learned thing but I would die if my boy started) and I wonder if it is related to pain (he had just developed an abcess in his foot that the farrier found). The owner is trying quitt but I don't see much results.
                          "If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man." Mark Twain

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                          • #14
                            When I first bought my TB two years ago I caught him cribbing at the sale barn I got him from. He had been in for three days straight and lots of random people were riding him and doing things with him.

                            There was that one incident and I have not seen him crib since. -knock on wood-

                            Rather strange.

                            One horse does crib across from him at the barn we are at now but he hasn't picked it up again.

                            That horse cribs and weaves. That horse is ouchy all over...poor guy. Can hardly touch him so I wonder if it is pain/stress related with him sometimes.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Something else to consider is pain.

                              My 20 yo mare started cribbing out of the blue. (I was horrified!) She had plenty of turnout, plenty of good grass hay, etc. She was also barefoot for about a year on a pasture with a fair number of rocks. We finally put shoes back on her after she continued to get more and more foot sore, which did not entirely stop the cribbing. When we moved to a new barn with no rocks, the cribbing stopped and hasn't recurred.

                              Not saying this is definitely your situation, but if the ground is frozen it might be something to keep in mind.
                              ~Nancy~

                              Adams Equine Wellness

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by dwblover View Post
                                I have truly come to believe that cribbing is a genetic "thing" in their DNA or something. Some are born with the tendency, some without. I have a 14 year old Dutch Warmblood. He grew up roaming the giant fields of his breeder's farm with his buddies, has had a good life, I've treated him with a full course of Gastrogard, and he is a cribbing addict. Has been all his life. I control it with the Miracle Collar, but the second that thing comes off he's back at it. I also have a six year old OTTB who had 32 starts, in a stall all day when he was at the track, was practically starved to death when I found him and bought him and he lives in the same paddock as the diehard cribber. He has never even attempted to crib on anything, I've never even seen him put his mouth on something. I truly don't think there is a rhyme or reason to it. Some horses are just hard-wired to crib and in other horses that mechanism just doesn't exist. JMO.
                                YES!!!

                                Also some horses when bored, hungry or frustrated will chew wood. They are not cribbers!! They are bored, hungry, or frustrated. Cribbers do not quit!!
                                Last edited by merrygoround; Feb. 2, 2009, 06:20 PM. Reason: spelling
                                Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

                                Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.

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                                • #17
                                  Noticed my mare was not cribbing today as she ate her lunch. (she always has in the past)
                                  She is on Stomach Soother for one week now, but also two weeks on Lubrisyn. Maybe the pain issue has some merit. If this combo works it will be a cheap fix and she & I will certainly be happier!
                                  Lilykoi


                                  Hell hath no fury like the chestnut thoroughbred mare

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    This is my $0.02 on the pain theory--

                                    Anytime an animal (equine, human, whatever) is uncomfortable, vices tend to manifest themselves tenfold. So, yes, if your cribber is in pain for one reason or another, it is perfectly plausible that he/she will crib more frequently. And if you treat the pain, it's equally as plausible that the cribbing might decrease in frequency.

                                    With that said, I don't believe pain is the source behind cribbing behavior. I don't believe it for one second. Not all cribbers are in pain, and likewise, not all horses in pain are cribbers. There has to be something else going on upstairs that makes the horse suddenly decide that grabbing onto an object and sucking air is the greatest thing since sliced bread.

                                    A genetic link has always seemed logical to me. Ancedotally, there are a handful of TB lines said to have high incidents of cribbing. Bold Ruler instantly comes to mind. But until someone isolates a locus, we can't really claim anything for sure. It makes me want to go in the other room and play with my spiffy new molecular biology equipment, though.
                                    Don't fall for a girl who fell for a horse just to be number two in her world... ~EFO

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      My horse cribs - he's not in pain, and doesn't have ulcers. He just cribs. Its a vice, I don't think he saw anyone do it and copied, ate too much grain, was bored, etc... I do think its genetic. I tried all kinds of "cures", (stomach soothers, aloe vera, neighlox, tums, u guard, cimitedine, the list goes on...) it has made no difference. He just cribs. Thats the way he is. He wears a collar when he's in his stall and all is good.
                                      Don't beat yourself up about it, sometimes they just do it.
                                      As annoying as it can be, he is the best horse I have ever owned. I wouldn't trade him!

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        I know my trainer takes a bar of soap and rubs it on the surfaces where our big cribber cribs the most and it works pretty well but sooner or later he cribs the soap right off. And he also wears a cribbing colar but there's really not all that much you can do for a cribber.

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