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Franklin Levinson's

Horse Help Center

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Cribbing and other questions


Please can you help? I have just brought a 15 year old tbx/gleding that was sold to me as a novice ride as I have not ridden for 8 years. I bought him on impulse and am now regretting it as he is a cribber. I did notice this (or a friend did) but I fell in love with him and bought him. How do we stop this, or do we need to? Am I correct in thinking that he is doing this as a comfort? He has been abused as a foal but the farm we bought him from said they had him for 7 years and bought him at an auction. He also throws his head when we stop but I have read one of your previous emails and am going to try your advice. I think the farm we bought him from have not been truthful with his history as we were told he was used for pony rides and novice rides. We know he as been abused as a foal as he has white scars on his head were the halter has been left on him too long and also a grove at the back of his head behind his ears very deep. Please can you help we any advice possible I feel so sorry for him as otherwise he has a lovely nature and is very easy to catch and tack up. Also could you give me some tips on how to tell how old he is as he does not look his age and is very fit (can trot up very steep hills no problem)? I am in Yorkshire, England.

Kind regards


Hi Julie,

Let’s see if I can offer a suggestion or two. Cribbing is a common vice frequently described as a symptom of boredom or nervousness. There are a few ways to deal with it. If the horse sucks wind in through his mouth while his mouth is clamped on to a hunk of wood or fence post, this is a bit different than just cribbing. Cribbing is generally referred to as compulsively chewing wood. There is a collar called a cribbing collar (brand name 'Miracle Collar’) available in tack stores and in catalogues. These collars work for horses that crib and suck in air. If the horse is only chewing wood you could try the collar but also paint the wood with a non-toxic solution that tastes so bad the horse won't want to chew (available in catalogues). You could also use pipe corral or trim the wood in aluminum or metal strips. There are lots of things to do to help. Give him a job also. Horses want to do something. Give him a lot of attention (not treats, just loving kindness). This will help any nervous habits he may have acquired. Develop as much trust with him as you can and see any lessening of his nervousness.

I would have a vet look in his mouth to determine his age from his teeth. I can give reasonable estimates but I take into account as well. A vet will be more specific and go by the teeth mainly.

Thank you for your question and I hope I have offered some good suggestions. Keep me posted.

Blessings to you, Franklin

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