Advice on a Cribber
“What experience do you have with horses who crib? I have been given a horse with this habit and I read that correct nutrition can help eliminate the desire for them to crib. Just want to get your thoughts. I’ve never had a cribber so this is new to me.”
Answer from Ph.D. Equine Nutritionist, Dr. Kelsey Johnson Nonella:
I personally have been lucky enough to never own a cribber. However, I have known a few people that have had cribbers. It is a habit that once developed can be nearly impossible to break. I would recommend keeping a cribbing collar on the horse, because a horse that cribs consistently can wear their front teeth down, making it hard for them to eat. Also, if you can, allow a lot of turn out time, and free-choice hay. Sweet feeds have been observed to increase the frequency of a cribber cribbing. A link has found between ulcers and cribbing as well. It is unknown if the ulcers are created from cribbing or vice versa. Research has shown that genetics play a role in cribbing. Therefore, horses are unlikely to learn the habit from a cribber.
If you want to read a great article with a lot of research on cribbing go to: http://www.equisearch.com/article/cribbing-why-some-horses-need-pacifiers
I hope you find this helpful. Thanks for taking good care of your horse.