How to stop your horse from cribbing?
Endorphin-loaded cribbing is extremely addictive for horses, much like the OC disorder in humans. It’s indeed a very hard habit to break. Fortunately, there are numerous ways to overcome cribbing. However, before you try any of these options, you have to take into account first certain things.
For one, you have to know and accept the fact that your steeds are far smarter than you think they are. So whatever that you do, they know it and why you do it. Second, you must find out first what made your horse go crazy with cribbing and for how long. The sooner you find out this problem, the sooner and better you can control it.
Lastly, these cribbing methods vary greatly depending on the degree and reason of your horse’s addiction. Horses differ from one another. What might work from this mount might not do well to other horses.
Therefore, there is no single technique that can definitely stop cribbing. Thus, it is also important that you study all aspects of this equine addiction as well as its possible solutions. However, if your horse picks up cribbing not from any of the “normal” causes, it is best to consult your vet and check what’s wrong with your Seabiscuit.
Provide them distractions/food
If the cribbing is caused by boredom, it is recommended to feed your horse throughout the day. Keep them occupied to divert their attention. Give her horse-toys as a distraction. For new cribbers, let them pasture in a little bit longer than usual.
But if your horse has been cribbing for years, these distractions will not break his addiction. Nevertheless, these will help to lessen the urge to crib as he spends most of his time eating.
Put them on cribbing straps
Cribbing straps are made of leather material that’s fastened around the horse’s upper neck. It’s used to put pressure against the animal’s larynx area whenever she arches her neck and gulp air. Generally, cribbing straps are quite comfortable for horses if they are not cribbing.
An obstinate cribber will even ignore the annoyance it causes when he cribs just so he can suck wind to his system and get naturally high. This product is not suggested to those die-hard cribbers. Still, cribbing straps are best suppressors for many cribbing addicts and it’s relatively cheap, too.
Give e-collars a try
E-collars are worn much like cribbing leather collars. The only difference is that, this choker is accompanied with a remote control that is pushed by the owner whenever Whinney attempts to crib. It then delivers an electric shock to the horse, “telling” her that she’ll be stunned whenever she bites on something to crib.
However, many animal welfare societies debate that electrifying an animal to stop bad habit is inhumane. Aside from that, e-collars are pricey. Thus, they are neither effective nor even worth a try. Plus, your proximity to the addicted horse is required, which is virtually impossible for anyone to keep an eye on him 24/7.
Put up electric fencing
Another impressive way of conquering cribbing on fences is by putting up e-fencing along the top of any paddock or pasture fences. However, it has to be completely and meticulously set up because when the horse discovers even a slight loophole to it, he’ll be “encouraged” to go cribbing again.
Give them chew stops
Chew Stops such as the popular Bitter Apple is also another effective anti-cribbing product available in your vet store. The catch? Some horses can easily get over the nasty flavor of these paints and sprays. Their potency easily fades away, and so the cribbers can get naturally high again.
Regardless, chew stops are recommended as “partner” to e-fencing. Chew stops can be applied to those hard to reach areas by e-fencing.
Try the Laser Assisted Modified Forssell’s Procedure
This is an invasive surgical operation that entails the removal of certain muscle tissue and nerves from the horse’s ventral neck area. After the surgery, the horse will be remained hospitalized for about four days. By then, the animal will find it difficult or maybe painful to contract his larynx to crib.
Have your filly wear his cribbing ring
First, the horse has to be sedated. Then the vet will drill a hole in the bone between the teeth. The cribbing ring is then inserted inside that hole in the gums. Whenever the horse tries to crib, the ring will render painful sensation, which hinders the horse to crib. This procedure is relatively less invasive that myectomy (incision of muscle).
Inject your horse with Naloxone
Naloxone is an anti-depressant drug that is injected to the animal to inhibit the production of addiction-causing endorphins. This drug suppresses the natural high a horse experiences whenever she cribs. However, Naloxone is not a practical solution. Other than it’s relatively pricey, its effects are short-lived.