Cribbing

Discussion in 'Training of the Horse and Rider' started by kitcat2, Sep 12, 2009.

  1. kitcat2

    kitcat2 New Member

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    I always knew my horse did it and it's not really a problem for me but recently he has been doing it on the fence at the entrance to his field which has caused it to come off:eek: (it was already slightly rotten but still :eek:)

    My YM wants me to get a "miracle cribbing" (or whatever it's called:rolleyes:) collar for him but I looked into it when I got him and read that can make him a lot worse when it's taken off! I also googled it and noticed a couple of people mentioning it caused sores:eek:

    I tried the crib stop stuff but it only worked for a short amount of time. I have read that it can be due to stomach ulcers but when I asked the vet he said it was behavioural and not due to any health problems:confused:

    Anyone got any ideas about it/ personal experience? :eek:
     
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  2. puzzles

    puzzles New Member

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    Cribbing collars and creams only mask the problem and never solve it; they merely treat the symptoms. Hence if you remove them, the symptoms will return & the problem will remain. It can be caused by gastric ulcers (usually caused by stress, a diet that is too high in cereals and/or a lack of fibre in the diet, or high acidity levels in the stomach as crib-biting relieves this slightly) - I can't believe that your vet of all people claimed that because it is not quite true! I would certainly have a test done to assertain if gastric ulcersares a factor in causing your horse's behaviour. Also, a diet that is too high in cereals, stress, insufficient fibre in the diet & lack of turnout are each contributionary causes of cribbing, alongside gastric ulcers. However do bear in mind that one can do "everything" they can and the symptoms still persist as a habit, not unlike smoking or binge-eating to comfort oneself even when the stressor has been removed. Horses are creatures of habit and so many continue the behaviour - but this is no reason not to do all you can to tackle the cause(s). It is a popular belief that horses can crib out of boredom or by copying another horse doing it, just for the sake of it, but this is not the case. Stress, however, is one of the primary causes. If another horses is emotionally distressed & thus cribs, other horses in close living proximity may start to crib as they, too, start to feel emotionally distressed as a result. So make sure that your horse is getting a balanced diet with at least 2% of his bodyweight in forage, with preferably no cereals whatsoever (or as little as possible) as these can raise acidity levels in the stomach and thus induce gastric ulcers. It would be a good idea to turn him out 24/7 and stick to a routine to minimise his stress, although some personality types become more easily distressed/insecure than others so this could be a causal factor also. Removing all possible places that your horse could crib-bite on would not solve the problem, as he will still feel the emotional or physical motivation to crib-bite to relief his physical or emotional discomfort. Hence any kind of punishment would also prove to be counter-productive, unfair & ineffective. Regardless of how you treat and manage your horse with this problem, I would add an antacid sich as Feedmark Settlex to your horse's daily feed, to help to reduce the acidity levels in his stomach that could be causing gastric ulcers, though it would be wise to have him properly checked for these anyway.

    Good luck!

    x
     
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    Last edited: Sep 12, 2009
  3. kitcat2

    kitcat2 New Member

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    Thanks puzzles!:D I was a bit surprised at my vet too but I thought he knew best. :eek:

    He only gets a small amount of feed (chaff and pony nuts) after being worked but apart from that he is turned out 24/7. Someone said their vet recommended Remmies :confused: I have heard them mentioned a few times but I'm not sure if they're really suitable.

    He is quite stressy as a horse though he mainly seems to do it after eating or when people are around the fence. I was thinking it could be partly attention seeking but I don't really know.

    I may try getting him checked for gastric ulcers, though my vet wouldn't do it ( I asked him before:rolleyes:) so need to arrange that. Also read it could be to do with his teeth and getting them checked soonish :)
     
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  4. carthorse

    carthorse Well-Known Member

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    This is a subject dear to my heart sice I own a cribber.

    Yes, they can cause damage. In the interests of yard harmony try to reduce the number of places he can do it, take steps to minimise the damage & offer to pay for any that he does cause. Maybe give him a post to crib on then put electric tape over the others?

    Collars can cause more prolems than they solve. Talk calmly to the YO & say how worried you are about this, maybe by combining it with the above you can reach a compromise. If he insists then I must admit I'd be looking for another yard as collars have caused me a lot of problems, but in fairness I know people who use them with no problems.

    Cribbing can be as a result of ulcers but it can also be behavioural. Jim has been treated for ulcers with a course of GastroGuard but he still cribs as the behaviour is too firmly engrained. If you believe ulcers may be the problem then you can insist the vet refers him for scoping but be aware it involves a hospital visit as it's a much bigger job than a normal scope. Or try managing him as if he had ulcers & see if that makes a difference - no cereals, always make hay available, good grass, as much turnout as possible, minimise stress. If you want a non-prescription treatment then I'd highly recommend Equine America's U-Gard Plus, if you do a Google search then you'll find some quite impressive trial results & I found it to be the only stomach supplement that helped Jim. GastroGard is amazing stuff but very expensive.

    After eating is one of the commonest times for a cribbing fix. It sounds silly but I've found that making a mollassed lick available can help here - if I can get Jim to go to the lick after he's eaten then he'll lick ratehr than crib & although he'll still have a few cribs after he's been on the lick it's nowhere near as intense or prolonged. I also think that some of Jim's is attention seeking.

    Some vet's seem to think leisure horses don't get ulcers ut this isn't true. However it may also be that he's reluctant to submit a stressy horse to a gastric scope since it means a prolonged period with no food, a trip to hospital, sedation & an invasve procedure. Why not talk to him & ask why he's unwilling to refer? If you aren't happy you can always ask for a second opinion or change practice.
     
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  5. kitcat2

    kitcat2 New Member

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    Yeah I am offering to pay :rolleyes: but she wouldn't force me...she is just quite keen for me to try it.

    Anyone have any opinions on Remmies? I have seen it mentioned a few places now..
     
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  6. carthorse

    carthorse Well-Known Member

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    I tried Rennies but didn't notice any difference TBH. I did get interrogated by the chemist about how many I was buying though! If it's any help here's some of the supplements I tried, I think there were also a couple that I've forgotten the names of:
    Feedmark Settlex - he cribbed even more, literally inbetween mouthfuls :eek:
    Hilton Herbs Gastric X - wouldn't touch it
    Coligone - another one he wouldn't touch, threw the bowl at me in a tantrum
    Protexin - no result
    Biotal GastroGold - helped but not as much as Equine America U Gard Plus & I had to really hide it in feed as he wasn't keen on the taste
    Biotal Equine Gold - seemed to help in some ways but not others, no effect on cribbing
    Equine America U Gard Plus - the only non-prescription one that really worked well & he eats it
    Succeed - not sure it made any difference but at least he'd happily eat it

    I've tried collars. The nutcracker type didn't stop him completely & he'd rub it so hard it would twist. The miracle collar did stop him but he refused to eat with it on & it trggered panic attacks in the field that meant he took some crashing falls & did quite a bit of damage to himself.
     
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  7. Lot1983

    Lot1983 Active Member

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    Hens cribs, but he is worse in certain stables than others. I've also noticed he never cribs on wood, he likes something metal. In one stable he would crib on the door as soon as he was in there, it was more important to him than eating hay. He also cribbed in the stable next door and I'd usually find him cribbing and not eating. He has now moved into a nice quiet stable in a barn, he can see less of the yard and all the goings on, he will have a little bite but he won't fight me over opening the door as he wants to chew on it. It's lovely walking into the barn to see him eating (and trust me he goes though a noticably bigger amount of hay). He's also getting pink powder in his feed but I'm pondering uping this to their Thrive or Ulseraze suppliments as being an ex-racer my first thought was for ulcers but he doesn't have cereal in his diet and his poo isn't the usual sloppy poo of a horse with ulcers.
     
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  8. Shansberry

    Shansberry Guest

    My horse is the exact same. Is previous owner thinks he started it because the owner before that did not feed him enough. I have a miricale collar and it does work, but as soon as I take it off he will crib again. And yes it has given him sores but you can buy wool attachmens so that it wont. My friends horse is a cribber to and she has what is called a cribbing strap and she finds it works better than the collar. It is also cheaper
     
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  9. fjordlady

    fjordlady New Member

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    Kitcat2 I think you need to just tell your YO that you have throughly researched the 'miracle collar' and similar devices and are not happy to use on your horse. Her request was for her benefit not the horse so do not feel guilty!
    My daughter's horse cribs after a hard feed (of any kind) and occasionally if feeling stressed ie new stable in RC. It could be acid in his stomach but I do not feel like submitting him to any invasive procedures as he is quite well:). I tend to think its more like someone bitting their nails a learned habit hard to break. Does that deserve a restricting device - to my mind NO.
     
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  10. tetsmum

    tetsmum New Member

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    Some research I read said that if hyou 'collared' them to prevent them from cribbing then when it was removed they increased the amount they did it, and actually it did nothing.

    My mare cribs, but doesn't hold on, she sort of 'nods' and 'grunts' She too has had gastroguard, and it's behavioural not physical............ I've owned her a year, and she does it MUCH less, it was stress I think, she was starved. It also is possibly genetic (more research reading) - but I haven't found a way to prevent it. It's just something I live with.
     
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  11. kitcat2

    kitcat2 New Member

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    Thanks for all the responses, I hope if I keep offering to pay for any damage he causes my YM will be appeased:rolleyes:.

    That's great to have a list of the options I could try, I suppose every horse is different so, like calmers/any other suppliment, what works for one might not work for others.:eek:
     
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