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Cribbing, anything new out there about it?

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  • Cribbing, anything new out there about it?

    I bring up cribbing because of this: My friend's gelding was a terrible cribber when he was confined to a stall. When we moved him to my place on 24/7 TO he would still crib even being on 6 acres. However, with time his cribbing has lessened quite a good bit. But we've had to set up an isolation corral for him to feed him his grain in because when he eats he takes frequent breaks, goes to the rail and cribs, then back to his dinner. I haven't noticed this pattern before in other horses I've been around that crib. But, I've also never had the opportunity to change their living environment in such a way.

    I've read that cribbing is now thought to be a side effect of digestive issues and so forth. I'm not concerned by his cribbing, we have all metal panels, so nothing for him to destroy. I am just wondering about others with cribbers, any similar situations? Anyone come across any new research?
    “Four things greater than all things are, - Women and Horses and Power and War”

  • #2
    I started treating my cribber for ulcers, and within a week she was cribbing much less. The longer she has been on the treatment the less and less she cribs. It is just amazing to see the difference- she would crib constantly and now only occasionally!


    • #3
      I have an 8 year old TB gelding that we bred. he started cribbing from the time he was 6 months, yes he was 2 stalls down from a part time cribber. Whether it was being so close to a cribber that he caught on or he was being curious with putting his mouth on things and figured it out, we don't know. We tried to curb this habit early with toys, hay a bigger paddock you name it. We tried running ulcer stuff through him as he got older, but nothing worked and the more work he was in the worse the cribbing got. 3 years ago I took him out of race training and started dressage/jumping he was loosing weight so fast and the attitude was horrible. If he couldn't crib he was going to rais all sorts of problems. Collars, muzzles, sprays, paints nothing made a difference. I finally had LSU do a cribbing surgery on him on April 21 2009. Ever since that day the cribbing has stopped, my TB eats likea horse and grazes all day instead of sitting by the fence. His flat work and jumping has improved and he wants to work. That surgery was the best thing I could have done for my boy!
      No Worries!


      • #4
        Can you tell us more about that surgery?
        What do they do?
        How much did they charge?
        \"Horses lend us the wings we lack\"


        • Original Poster

          Wow, a surgery? Please do share...I never heard of this before now.
          “Four things greater than all things are, - Women and Horses and Power and War”


          • #6
            Here is an article that explaint the process and it cost me $2300 and well worth the money! In a nut shell the make a verticle incision from the jaw line to 1/3 down his neck and the muscles that the horse cribs with are taken out, a drain is place and the horse is sewn back up. The incision drains for about a week, then they take it out, horse comes home and you hae to take care and clean the area and drain it.....way gross, but my horse doesn't crib. Mentally he wants to, but physically he can't!

            No Worries!


            • #7
              The lady who writes the Behind the Bit blog has a lot of good articles on cribbing (on the right hand side of the page are little tags you can click on to bring up all her entries on that topic). Its a good place to start.

              As another poster said, ulcers is a big flag for cribbers, though its not the smoking gun for all horses. We're trying my TB on a diet change with a lot of pelleted rice bran and beet pulp and very little grain, hoping that it will help with his acidic tummy (just like with my heartburn, I know there are certain foods I should avoid!). We're also going to start him on a daily suppliment like Smart Gut and see if that helps too. When he came of the track 2 yrs ago he was treated for ulcers and improved dramatically (attitude, demeanor) but he has continued to crib. Since we started changing over his food he does seem to crib less.
              I have Higher Standards... do you?
              Apalachicola Native (Alfie), '02 TB Gelding,
              Wild Man of Borneo (Hank), '03 Redtick coonhound,
              Augustus McRae (Gus), '01 Bluetick coonhound


              • #8
                We have a TWH gelding that was a notorious cribber and horribly skinny from his previous owner (like under a 2 on the body condition scale). I talked to the vet who had done blood work on him before we got him (we have the same vet) and he told me there was no physical reason for the weight loss, just lack of food (the energy wasted on cribbing didn't cause the weight loss). We bought a Dare collar, turned him out 24/7 with a calm mellow horse, gave him access to 24/7 forage and covered, electrified or eliminated any place that he could crib on. It virtually eliminated the cribbing. Plus we put him on a round of Cimetidine. We moved him to a full care facility 2 weeks ago and he is back to cribbing on his water bucket so back to field/pasture board with hot wire and nothing for him to crib on.


                • #9
                  No. There is nothing new about cribbing. Nothing that can be applied to stop it. There is some new information on which neurotransmitters are activated, but meh, that does not help you.

                  The surgery has been around for ages. The "modified" version is decades old. It fell out of fashion just like hog rings did. Things usually fall out of fashion and get forgotten because they are not a long term cure.

                  Most of the "new" research is just disproving old theories and finding out how much we do not know.


                  • Original Poster

                    I suppose cribbing is going to be one of those things that is never really understood all the way around.

                    Like I said, I am not overly concerned...it just gets annoying to have to put one horse in a stall to eat when they are all pasture kept, cause he has to take the extra time to crib every so many bites. Ah, well. At least he isn't bolting his food and getting colicy!
                    “Four things greater than all things are, - Women and Horses and Power and War”