Cribbing is a nasty habit that not only destroys your barn and fencing, but can effect your horse’s health. Basically, it’s the act of your horse grabbing a wood surface with their front teeth, arching their neck and sucking in air. While you’ll have trouble finding a cure, there are some management practices you can try!
- Give your horse something to do!
If your horse cribs in their stall, then a simple solution may be to turn them out more frequently. Horses were designed to roam and forage throughout the day. Being confided to a stall can take a mental toll on your horse. It’s stressful and often boring being locked up 24/7.
For those that crib outside, you may want to offer them a toy or treat dispenser. And if they don’t already have a buddy, you can try adding another horse or a smaller companion to their field.
2. Provide free access to hay.
You can keep your horse’s mouth busy by providing them with hay. A slow feeder net can make the hay last longer. In their paddocks, you can place the hay in multiple stations to encourage them to wander and move about.
3. Invest in a cribbing collar.
This device straps around your horse’s throat latch. When they go to crib or suck in air, the collar causes them discomfort. This self-punishment discourages the horse from cribbing. Unfortunately, it’s only a temporary solution and most will crib once you take it off.
There are a number of factors as to why horses crib. You can develop the best solution by first figuring out the cause. You may want to start your search by looking for these Signs of a Stressed Out Horse.