Friday 18 March 2011

Not As Bad As It Looks

Sweet Niko what could he ever do that is so awful? The answer is of course nothing, but that isn't what everybody thinks as Niko has some habits, bad habits. He is in fact a cribber. He has been cribbing all the time I have known him and I still love him just as much as I do the other horses. I knew that he cribbed when I bought him and I was still happy to buy him, more then happy he was my after all my first horse.

There are lots of different opinions on cribbers but I have to say that many of them are just barbaric. I am of course referring to practices such as surgically cutting a muscle and nerve in the neck to prevent cribbing. The use of a cribbing cage, which was used on Niko before we bought him and had made him head shy.

We have tried to stop him with Cribox and one of the livery yards where we kept our horses insisted that he wear a cribbing collar, it didn't work and now I just let him crib. Our vet has told us that the current theory on cribbing is that it is a form of stress relief which then becomes a habit and that providing it doesn't cause health problems it is kinder to let horses crib.

If you have an opinion on cribbers please feel free to post it.

And the problem with the bonfire is not yet resolved, will keep you posted.


Sherri B. said...

I know nothing of cribbing but think that sugically cutting a muscle and nerve is something I wouldn't do no matter what..yikes!!

We can hope for a heavy rain to put out the bonfire.

Michelle said...

I think you are doing the kinder thing by letting him release his anxieties through cribbing. At the barn where I had my horse, cribbers were given tobasco sauce. It worked for some, but not others. I don't seems like putting hot sauce in their mouth is on the side of being cruel. But I'm not an expert on the subject.
My African Grey parrot, Timothy, is a feather plucker. He plucks his body down to the soft downy feathers, but not down to his skin. I knew he was a feather picker when I adopted him, but like you, with your horse and the cribbing, it didn't stop me from loving him and making him my own.
You have a very sweet heart and I look forward to reading more of your posts on your blog.

RDA Pony Tales said...

I am with the vet on this one. Horses start cribbing out of boredom then it becomes a habit. There is no cure only preventatives which as you have mentioned are out of the question and I would not go along with either. Sometimes cribbers digestive organs get upset (more so if they are wind-suckers too) but Niko looks like he is in good condition so clearly that is not a problem. The only other issue is wear to the teeth but as he has seen a vet and is well looked after I would love him as you do and not worry about it. Sorry the bonfire is on-going, as Sherri B commented maybe a good soaking would make it hard to re-light. A midnight assault with a hose pipe maybe? (but you did'nt read that here!) Abby