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A Cribbing FAQ

Causes, Characteristics and Solutions to the Habit of Cribbing


Horse wearing crib strap.

Horse wearing crib strap.

2006 K. Blocksdorf

Whether called cribbing, crib biting, wind sucking, or aerophagia, this is a destructive habit in horses caused by boredom and stress and possibly stomach acidity. Once the habit is learned there is no sure remedy for breaking it  despite what you may read on websites selling herbs and gear.

Foals can learn to crib from their mothers and young horses may learn it from others. Before you buy a horse, pony, donkey or mule that cribs make sure you are willing to deal with the damage to fences, trees, and stables and cope with the possible health risks that may come with cribbing.

  • What is Cribbing?

    What exactly is cribbing, and what does a horse do while it cribs? Here' is an explanation of what you will see when a horse cribs.

  • Why do horses crib?

    Interestingly, cribbing is not a habit seen in wild horses. The thinking is, that cribbing has a lot to do with how we keep domestic horses. Boredom, diet and genetics may play a part in developing the vice.

  • How can cribbing be harmful?

    There is no doubt that cribbing can have a negative impact on a horse's health. Learn how cribbing can be detrimental to your horse's well being.

  • How do I cope with horse that cribs?

    There is no 100% sure way to stop cribbing, beyond surgery, but there are ways to cope. Here are some suggestions that have been tried by many people who have cribbers.

If you are planning to buy a horse, you will probably want to avoid a cribber. If a horse is cribber, it may actually be illegal to sell a horse and not disclose it is as cribber beforehand. Even if it is not illegal where you are, it is certainly unethical. Asking if the horse has any vices should be on your list of questions for the owner of any horse you are considering buying.

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