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  • Cribbers?

    Would you say no to a cribber? If you've owned/dealt with one, any success with getting the horse over the habit?

    For reference, the horse I'm dealing with only seems to crib while eating his pellets or after I give him a treat. Doesn't do it on buckets, only on stall windows or the top fence rail. Is an OTTB so has probably had this habit for awhile.

  • #2
    I have owned two and both totally controlled with just a nutcracker collar. However, that being said I would never purposely own another. I find the habit annoying (like running your finger nails down a chalkboard <cringe>) If I had a horse that developed the habit not saying I would get rid of him/her but I wouldn't buy one. Just my opinion.
    I would definately try treating for ulcers if you haven't already. That "may" seriously reduce or even get rid of the cribbing if that is what is causing it.
    Cindy's Warmbloods
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    • #3
      Have one here, collars don't bother her .. when the child grows out of her , she will be gone,gone ...gone.
      I can't stable her near my youngsters because I don't want them to learn. I would prefer not to have any other one come in..
      "The Desire to Win is worthless without the Desire to Prepare"

      It's a "KILT". If I wore something underneath, it would be a "SKIRT".


      • #4
        They are annoying, but I am not a no cribbers ever type of person. It is an annoying habit, but I think that giving up on a horse or not buying a horse just because it cribs is a little extreme.


        • #5
          I had a cribber, and while he was a nice boy and the cribbing was very mild and easily stopped with a collar, I don't think I'd ever want another one.

          The collar was a pain in the neck because the other horses would play with it all day long and drag him around or twist it up on him. Looking back he probably did have ulcers and wasn't on the best diet, but I didn't know better back then.

          I board so sometimes cribbers can be a limitation, same with wood chewers, many stables don't care, but many do. When I was moving barns at one point (actually being asked to leave because my Morgan became a termite), a little less than half of the barns I looked at (I looked at over 30) did not allow, or preferred not to have cribbers/woodchewers. It can be costly and damaging. If I owned my own horse property I'd probably be more willing to consider a light cribber.
          Being terrible at something is the first step to being truly great at it. Struggle is the evidence of progress.


          • #6
            Originally posted by KateKat View Post

            For reference, the horse I'm dealing with only seems to crib while eating his pellets or after I give him a treat.
            This totally sounds like ulcers to me. Try a week of Ulcergard/Gastrogard if you don't want to pay for a scope.

            Yes, I've owned one. Did I "cure" it? Goodness no! Yes, it got much better after ulcer treatment, but my horse was way more hard-core than what you are describing. While I wouldn't rule out another cribber, assuming it was controlled with a collar, it would be a serious mark against the horse. I know of boarding barns that won't even accept cribbers. Also, they seem to be "worriers" or very sensitive horses and that's not really what I'm looking for anymore, unless the horse is wicked talented and trained. This is just me though!!

            I don't think it is a learned behavior, or every horse in any barn I've been in would have started doing it when they get bored. He's been around probably 70 different horses while I owned him and none of them started cribbing from exposure. I think it is pain related, maybe boredom related if stalled too much, stress related and quite possibly hereditary.
            DIY Journey of Remodeling the Farmette: http://weownblackacre.blogspot.com/


            • #7
              "NO" TO ALL CRIBBERS !
              Zu Zu Bailey " IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE ! "


              • #8
                They don't bother me. I am convinced it is not a learned behavior. Jet stabled next to 2 different cribbers at 2 different barns for 7 yrs and never picked it up, nor did the horses on the other side of them.

                My only concern would be making sure that the horse doesn't have ulcers, and managing them to reduce the cribbing for health reasons.


                • #9
                  We leased a cribber, ended up buying him because he knew his job and did it well with my daughter. Doesn't crib with a miracle collar so we leave it on 24/7.

                  Would I go out looking for a cribber? Obviously not, it is an annoying, destructive vice.

                  Would I turn a suitable, sound horse away because he his a cribber? Not as long as it can be controlled by a collar.

                  There is no such thing as a perfect horse, take what you can deal with and turn away what you can't.

                  As a side note - in a boarding situation, owners who refuse to try to control their horses cribbing because it doesn't bother them personally drive me a bit batty, but that might be another post.....


                  • #10
                    I don't think it's a learned behavior, either, but I wouldn't buy one. If I owned one, I probably wouldn't sell it over the cribbing, but I wouldn't be happy about it, either. Cribbing drives me nuts and I hate the destruction it causes around the barn/farm if you don't hotwire everything and keep a collar on the horse at all times (which I hate, also).


                    • Original Poster

                      I'm not sure if he's ever been looked at for ulcers. Pardon my ignorance but why would ulcers cause cribbing? What other signs could I look for if it is ulcers?


                      • #12
                        Ulcers are common in many horses. Some symptoms are
                        Increased cribbing after eating grain, or not finishing all of the grain.

                        Sensitivity to brushing sides or girthing up

                        Hard to keep weight on

                        Mild, frequent colics

                        Acting spooky/nervous/balky when ridden, especially when trotting.

                        Horses may not have all of the symptoms.

                        You can treat with a round of Gastroguard and see if it helps. You can also scope for ulcers, but scoping doesn't always detect them, and the treatment would be Gastroguard, so many just do the Gastroguard and skip the scoping.


                        • #13
                          My horse is a cribber. Is it annoying? Yes. Would I sell her because of it? No. I tried the collars- all they did was piss her off and end up injuring her face trying to get them off. Best thing I ever did was have her ulcers diagnosed and treated them- while she still cribs the frequency is much less.


                          • #14
                            That is a real tough one!! My show horse Peppy began cribbing late in life (age 16 years old) and I had owned him a year when he started. Would I have bought him if he was a cribber.....probably not but I would have missed out on one of the most awesome horses that ever lived That horse was a saint!! He cribbed mostly when he ate at first but it got worse in the winter when he was bored. He cribbed HORRIBLY at shows and I had to put his water bucket on the ground so he wouldn't crib.

                            I guess for me it would depend on the horse really.
                            RIP Sucha Smooth Whiskey
                            May 17,2004 - March 29, 2010
                            RIP San Lena Peppy
                            May 3, 1991 - March 11, 2010


                            • Original Poster

                              hmm...well he doesn't have any of the other symptoms of ulcers but of course that doesn't mean he doesn't have them. Unfortunately I don't think I could give him anything for it now since he's not mine, but it is definitely good to know.

                              Without getting into too many details, I'm hoping I might be able to buy him. He is not officially for sale but the owner is going through some tough financial times and I was going to approach the subject with them. Just didn't know if cribbing should be a make or break issue because other than that, he's a pretty awesome horse!


                              • #16
                                I'm also in the camp of 'ya can't cure' cribbing as I've seen it run in certain bloodlines. And I don't believe that cribbing is a learned behavior, ie one horse copies another. Would I own one? Truthfully, the sound drives me nuts so I'd have to say 'no.'

                                The horse in the op sounds like he has ulcers. Dead giveaway is that he only wants to crib when eating.

                                If this horse is a true, hard core cribber, he'd be latching onto stall doors, lead ropes, buckets, cross ties, fence posts, etc AND his front teeth will show signs of wear. I've seen some who stand and crib on whatever out in the middle of lush pasture, ignoring the grass for the cribbing 'high.' Cribbing is a vice and should be disclosed by the seller, and in many cases, the horse's price will reflect the vice (lower price). Collars keep a lot of cribbers from using their neck muscles to suck in that air/burp noise but also rub manes out, get twisted, played with by pasture mates, rub raw marks on necks... all worth the hassle if the horse is your dream horse in other respects. You just have to be honest with yourself.


                                • #17
                                  After re-reading my post, I'm sure you're confused as heck now.

                                  There's cribbing, and then there's 'cribbing because the horse has ulcers.' If that makes sense. The latter is much like a horse biting his sides when he has colic. Treat the ulcers, the cribbing stops. This horse in your post cribs whenever he eats because the ulcers/acid in stomach are causing pain.

                                  A hard-core cribber cribs forever. Because he gets high on it.


                                  • #18
                                    I always swore I'd never have a cribber, now one of the nicest horses I have in the barn is a cribber. I don't even put anything on him any more, it's just turned into not a big deal. Can't say as I ever thought that would happen, but it doesn't even bother me any more.
                                    We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.


                                    • #19
                                      I'm a "Definitely NO" to cribbers. They drive me absolutely insane.

                                      However, if a horse came along that was phenomenal and that was the *only* draw back, you bet I'd consider him!


                                      • #20
                                        Had a DEDICATED cribber...on the crossties, on his leadrope if tied, on the fence, on the jump standards when we stopped in the ring. Treated him for ulcers (gastrogard for a month) and his cribbing has decreased 99%.