Firstly, what is cribbing? Cribbing or wind sucking is a condition that induces a horse to lick or chew wood. It destroys his teeth and ultimately damages his digestion and leads to colic. The inhalation of wood activates hormones that would produce an effect pretty much like a “high” on the horse. So it follows that not only does this condition damage wooden structures in your property, it also effects the health of your horse in several detrimental ways. How do you prevent horse cribbing? Read on for a few tips on how to stop your horse from wind sucking.
1) Keep boredom at bay. One of the main reasons why a horse cribs is boredom. In order to prevent this, let him out more often and have him play with other horses. Keep his stall interesting my installing some toys. This way, your horse would be too preoccupied to crib.
2) Get a cribbing collar. This can be bought at any store that offers items for the horse. The collar is placed tightly around the horse’s neck and generally acts to prevent the horse from taking deep breaths. In essence, this drastically minimizes chances of his getting a high out of wind sucking. Make sure however that the collar is only snug and not too tight, and always remember to remove the cribbing collar when you put our horse out to exercise, as it may cause the horse to suffocate.
3) Try some anti-cribbing supplement. Try mixing this with his food. It just might be the thing that would make him turn away from cribbing.
4) Use brushes on the cribbing areas. Horses crib mainly on wooden structures as they are hard and can grate on the horse’s teeth. Tying stiff brushes with their brush side up on the structures would put him off from cribbing as the brushes don’t have the same texture as wood.
5) Anti-chew treatment. You can also paint wooden surfaces with anti-chew treatment as an added measure to stop the horse from cribbing on them.
6) Putting the hay in a net. This would make it a little more difficult for the horse to access the hay, and in the process, his exerting effort in getting some would keep him from getting bored. The hay also serves to keep the horse chewing longer.
7) Muzzle. Apparently, placing this over the horse’s mouth would keep him from opening his mouth and thus render it impossible for him to crib.
If trying one of these methods doesn’t work, make an attempt to combine some of them to achieve a higher degree of success in preventing your horse from cribbing.