Connecticut 2 1/2 year old Rocky Mountain can be worked in round pen - ring - pasture by good rider.

Question: 2 year old gelding is well started under saddle and is going good. When he is stalled he starts to crib and gets froth around his mouth. I tried a cribing strap to no      avail. Is he teething? 

Help! Don 

From Panelist Bob

Cribbing is a vice of bored horses that are kept stalled. Many times there is no cure once the habit is firmly entrenched. A well fitting cribbing strap will stop it! But this is a 24/7 thing. Sometimes turning them out to pasture stops it when it is just beginning, although I have seen horses crib on stumps and fence posts. 

Prevention is the best cure. If I must stall a young horse I give them toys to play with. Nothing expensive as they tend to tear them up! <g> I use plastic oil jugs, after washing them out I put a few pebbles in them and tie them to the ceiling with baling string. I have also used cheap Wal-Mart beach balls and old traffic cones for toys. I also don't give them more grain than they need for what they are doing and for growth.

Bob Blackwell 

From Panelist Erica

First, is your horse cribbing or chewing on the wood? There is a big difference. If he is simply chewing, then I would look to cover up any exposed areas of wood that he could chew on. Next thing to check is his teeth, do they need floating? Does he have wolf teeth? Also have him checked to be sure his baby molar caps are not causing pain if they are coming off. 

If he is for sure cribbing and you've checked to make sure that his teeth are not causing problems then I would check to make sure the cribbing strap is on snug enough and that he wears it anytime he has the opportunity to crib to help discourage it. Cribbing is usually considered an incurable vice - there have been some cases where the horse after wearing a cribbing strap for many years will no longer crib without one, however I would not
count on that happening all the time. At his age, he will not be teething - teething is when their very first set of baby teeth coming in through the gums. He may be loosing his baby teeth and producing his adult set though.

Erica Frei

From Panelist Carol

Hi Don,

First, I want to try to figure out if your colt is cribbing or just gnawing on the edge of his stall.  Is he gulping in air with a loud noise?  If so, he's cribbing, not just chewing.  If I had a sure fire cure for cribbing I would go on the internet and sell it and get filthy rich.  Lately I had a cribber to deal with and reccommend a product called "Positively no wood chew Plus"  available out of most supply catalogs.  It is what they put on babies' thumbs to keep them from sucking their thumbs, I've been told that, guess it's true.  What I do know is that it helped deter one horse from cribbing, although it didn't stop it.  Increased turn out time will also help and anything that reduces stress.

Young horse's teeth should be checked by a dentist often, every 3 to 6 months is ideal.

Good Luck and hope that this helps.

Carol Camp Tosh

From Panelist Lee

He most certainly could be -- he could also be bored, from being in a stall, and having a reaction to whatever is on the surface he is cribbing/chewing on.  Best solution -- get him out of that stall as much as possible. Turn out is very important for the mental health of horses.

Lee Ziegler

From Panelist Liz

Hi Don,

Yes he is at an age were he has teeth coming in and milk caps starting to turn loose.

Cribbing can be caused by boredom, something lacking in nutrition, to high of protein in his feed. I have not had one start to do this from teething. The goal here is to get it stopped and hope that it is not to the point of being a life time habit. Put safe horse toys in his
stall to keep him busy and try using either a product to put on his gab places to detour the cribbing or putting metal covering on all the wood edges that he can grab in the stall. This really needs to be controlled as it can cause health risks. I would also check out different cribbing collar designs. Their are many out there and it maybe just a matter of finding the right one.


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