Cribbing~~How serious??


Owned by a Black Fox
Cribbing and windsucking can be a sign of gastric reflux in horses

They do it to ease the pain apparently

There is lots of ongoing research and medication to help with the reflux which may quell the cribbing/windsucking. Guess you could google it

Some of the mainstream magazines have had articles about it in the last year or so.


New Member
May 6, 2005
i owned an out & out cribber for 5 years

if the horse & price are right & with no history of problems such as colic i'd go for it

not one did my horses cribber cause her any real problems , she held weight well enough for her type & never had colic or evidence of any digestive issues

i couldn't stop her but good management reduced the amount she did it & over the years i kept several different horses with her , none of which went on to 'copy' the habit as many claim will be the case

hope that helps a little


New Member
May 24, 2006
It depends if it is something that you can live with.

As has been said, it can be indicative of underlying problems.


The horse has sufferd psychological damage as a result of boredom.

The worst scenario is that it is fatal in the sense that it can be a contributry factor to a lethal bout of colic.

Also, horses who crib all their lives can wear out their front teeth to the extent that they have to be shot because the can not eat.


Jun 13, 2005
Theres stuff now which claims to calm the stomach acid etc and stop it? Maybe if it was from boredom 24/7 turnout may be someting which may work? Sorry i dont know much more.
Tbh i wouldnt buy a cribber....just because it would annoy me though lol. Although if it was a rerely occuring thing i may. But thats just me lol


Horsin' Around
Stress & Lack of forage often leads to cribbing.

Gastric probs, well, no forage in your belly sure would cause disruption in a horses stomach ;)

Horses are browsers as well, they will nibble at hedges and strip bark, because it is all important fibre intake. Also, if a horse is stabled, most people don't put enough food in at night. So a hay net will only last a few hours then they have nothing for 10hrs+. For a trickle grazer, this is VERY STRESSFUL, ( not to mention causes great damage to their digestion) and they have the strong need to chew, thats where 'vices' come in. :(
Sadly, many people add cruel devices that only increases the horses stress levels. So step back, think and see how you could find the 'root' of the problem. Which on most cases leads back to how they are being managed.

Anyway, all the best. Hope that helps :p


Super Moderator
Staff member
Jan 6, 2006
I own a cribber that has had two serious colics that the vets are sure were linked to his cribbing so unless this is the horse of your dreams I'd say walk away. If it is the horse of your dreams then run - I've spent days (& nights) in tears over Jim lately & I'm terrified he's going to colic again & it could be fatal.

Some cases may be managed by diet etc but I know to my cost that this isn't always the case. Jim has ad-lib hay (there's always some left in the morning), daily turnout in a big field with company (but he still cribs in the field), no cereals in his diet, as little stress as I can manage (if he was a person he'd stress about having nothing to stress about :p ) & have tried loads of supplements to no effect. Although I hate them he now wears a collar but he can even crib a bit with that on.

I wouldn't buy another cribber. I love Jim to bits but his cribbing is breaking my heart.
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New Member
Nov 28, 2005
Horses that crib bite are usually better off being kept out (if at all possible). They have the other horses and grass to occupy themselves with. although occasionally, you'll get one that cribs on the fence (if it's a suitable wooden fence)!!​


New Member
Sep 19, 2005

I had a cribber on loan for a year and he never had colic :) But he was getting old and so he barely had any teeth from where he had cribbed all his life. :(It was sad to watch and damaged fence posts but apart from that never caused any probs :)

Lizzie x


My pony is a cribber but he only does it in the stable on his haynet so we just chuck it on the floor. Previous owners said he has always done it but has never had any health problems.

I went to try him with huge doubts in my mind but he ticked all the other boxes.

Do a google search - there is a lot of interesting stuff out there about it.

Good luck with whatever you decide. :)
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