View Full Version : Help! My new horse is cribbing :eek:
8th Mar 2000, 09:15 AM
Last weekend I bought my first horse, an 8 year old Paint gelding. He is beautiful! But the other day I was told by one of my friends at the stables that my horse is cribbing. I had no idea what it was so I immediately went to the internet and educated myself as much as I could. I went out and bought the Miracle Collar 2 days ago but I can't seem to get it fit to where it seems right.
Does anyone have experience with the Miracle Collar and how to fit them? If his head is down (eating) then it seems okay but then he picks his head up it seems as if it's way too tight under the neck.
Hope to hear from you all soon. Thank you.
8th Mar 2000, 06:38 PM
Before you jump to the conclusion that he is a confirmed cribber, could you get in touch with his previous owner and ask if he's shown the behaviour before? Have you been sold a horse with a vice?!! Try having a look at his front teeth to see if they're badly worn. Also, have you actually seen him cribbing, or is somebody being alarmist because they saw him grab a door with his teeth? My horse does this occasionally when excited by feeding time - but no way is he a cribber.
Horses often develop vices like cribbing when they're under stress, so if you've only had him such a short time, he may be struggling to settle down in a new environment with new people, horses and routine (I assume he has moved yards, or you would have come across the cribbing before you bought him). Is he stabled next to a horse he finds intimidating? Is he getting any turnout, or just an hour or two? One very common reason for cribbing is boredom, so combine lack of turnout with the stress of changing owners and you have ideal conditions for vices to start. However, if it is something he's just developing, then maybe you can head it off by more turnout (all day or more, if possible, and preferably with just one quiet horse that he can form a pair-bond with), painting a repellent on doors and other likely surfaces and generally just letting him settle down, which may take a few weeks or even months (a good repellent, by the way is tabasco sauce, but not too hot!).
If he's a confirmed cribber, you've got more of a problem and the previous owner should have warned you about it. As for the Miracle Collar - it's a 'fix' that hides the causes of the problem, although it is useful with horses that have developed the habit to such an extent that they even crib in the field. I'm sorry, I have no idea how to fit it!
8th Mar 2000, 09:09 PM
Unfortunately the previous owner did not inform me until I confronted her yesterday about it. She swears up and down that she told me but I don't recall it. If she had I would've been prepared before I picked him up from her last weekend. Anyway, she said that he has been cribbing since she got him 3 years ago so we know he's been doing it for years and this is a habit for him.
I got the number this morning for the Miracle Collar and talked to them about how to fit the collar, I don't have it nearly tight enough for effectiveness so I need to go back out tonight and tighten it up. They also told me that this habit may be curable if he isn't allowed to crib for a long period of time. I'll have to keep you all informed of his success.
Aside from his "vice", he is the most wonderful and I wouldn't trade him for the world. I would trust him to carry anyone safely and soundly.
Thanks so much for your reply, it's nice to know I have some support out there.
9th Mar 2000, 04:20 AM
Please be careful with the Miracle collar, we had a cribber (on loan) who came supplied with one, to be any way effective it had to be done up cruelly tight, we gave up in the end, turned her out as much as poss and kept her out of sight of our foal who thought it looked a very interesting occupation! She did it in the field as well. It does not actually do them any harm, although it reduces forage time so most cribers are poorish. In spite of rumour it does not cause colic but it can be very irritating to witness, and no doubt there is a possibility of her friends picking up the habit, specially youngsters. There is a very good research site on cribbing somewhere but you would have to dig for it, I can't recall it.
Anyway it is not terminal, get out there and enjoy the rest of him, that's just a little bit!
Ours would crib on your shoulder if you stood still long enough!
[This message has been edited by intouch (edited 09 March 2000).]
9th Mar 2000, 08:13 AM
Well one solution would be to eliminate as much wood as possible and to keep him occupied. My stb Marty chews on wood. Luckily we have mostly new fencing that is steel post and fence wire so he has nothing there to chew. And I got a tip off a list to staple chicken mesh inside their shelter so that he cant chew thru it. Anyone have luck with toys such as horse balls etc?
10th Mar 2000, 04:16 PM
There is a thing in this months Your Horse about reducing stress for stabled horses. One suggestion was to hang a mixture of veg for stirngs up int he stable. Apparently it has to be a choice of veg, not just one thing. They suggested carrots, turnips (or swedes for you southerners!) and parsnips. This apparently will keep you horse happy and fill his time with fun things to do.
So there you go, i dunno if it works, but might be worth a go!
11th Mar 2000, 04:47 AM
Sarah- I'm just curious, are you talking about covering the walls in vegetables? Because I know both of my horses would make short work of strings of vegetables- it would probably keep them amused for about 5 minutes...then Calypso would start kicking the door...lol
11th Mar 2000, 07:28 AM
My friend once put up a HUGE newspaper ball for Harry to play with in his stable. He'd hit it with the side of his head let it swing round and hit him on the other side... GREAT FUN! ROFL.
Let's jsut say the next morning.. no ball and LOTS of shredded paper! LOL
13th Mar 2000, 03:45 PM
no, i meant hang them fromt eh ceiling so that as the horse goes to take a bite it will move and be much harder to eat. This should hopefully mean that it isn't eaten in 5 mins!
15th Mar 2000, 06:57 PM
I used to use a miricle collar on my mare then after she got sores around her ears I changed to the more traditional collar, they are a lot cheaper!!
Good Luck :D
17th Mar 2000, 09:38 AM
How long has your horse been wearing a collar? Do you feel it is a lifelong problem for horses? I know that with the Miracle Collar you have you put it on pretty tight in order for it to be effective. I see how your horse could get sores, I've been watching very closely to see if mine is and I don't notice any yet. I know that you are supposed to take it off when grooming/riding/etc. More like a treat.
Have a great one!
31st Mar 2000, 03:24 AM
We have had several horses in the past that have been cribbers. If the horse has been cribbing for a long time, there is not much chance of in going away or the Miracle Collar "curing" the cribbing problem.
Not all horses have to have the Miracle Collar on "as tight as possible". We had several horses that had them on quite comfortably. Don't worry too much about it, as long as you keep a close eye on his feeding program (watch he doesn't drop too much weight) and keep him comfortable and happy, he will live a healthy and long life.
4th Apr 2000, 02:08 PM
My mare wore the miricle collar for about 8 months before I finally decided to change it. When I first put the other one on she got sores after clipping, but you know the pads that you can put on nosebands (the fluffy ones) she wares one of these round the neck bit.
I find that it is a life long problem and with my horse you can't take it off while grooming because she just cribbs. Watch to see if your horse cribbs while in the collar during his feed, this is the most dangerous time, choking, and when they are most likley to cribb.
Let me know how you get on,
Anna-Lisa :) :) :) :) :)
28th Apr 2000, 06:47 PM
well a horse at the home of mine is a cribber and we bought the mirical collar he wears his all the time execpt when he is in being gromed and ridden. The collar works well on him and has stopped the problem we find that when it is off he tryes once and mich the girl that rides him places her hand in the same place as the tage on the collar would sit ad he stops. the only thing we found with the collar is that rubs his skin to the point of giving him scxars which we fixed by glueing some sheep skin on to the main scetions of the collar> godd luck i hope the collar works as well for you as it has for us
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