Why I Purchased Anti Cribbing Products
The first time I witnessed my beloved Henry place his incisors on his stall door and appearing to suck in air, I have to admit I was shocked. The large gulping noise caught me off-guard, especially as he retained a calm and placid look on his face throughout. Still relatively new to horse ownership, I worried that something was seriously wrong with my loyal friend. I know now that this behaviour is fairly common (yet inappropriate), and often thought to be present in horses that are bored or anxious.
It is referred to as cribbing and is can be more of an annoyance than a health issue. However, after discussing this with much more experienced horsemen and women, I did learn that if I let this go on, it could lead to some superficial health problems, such as the abnormal wearing of the upper incisors and enlargement of the throat muscles. I set about scouring the market for the best anti cribbing products.
Calling out the Vet
Despite being pretty certain that my horse was displaying cribbing behaviour (it's very easily visualised and so pretty simple to diagnose), I firstly checked over my boy's diet and then called out the vet to take a look at him. She performed a thorough physical exam in order to ensure that Henry had no underlying problems that could be causing this behaviour. The vet took a close look at his mouth to check for any changes to his teeth, and we discussed ways in which I could enrich his environment in order to discourage cribbing.
The vet suggested investing in stable toys as a way of keeping him occupied and stopping him for developing repetitive habits. I've also tried to increase the amount of time I spend with Henry, as it's just not fair to keep him confined for such long periods of time. I try my best to provide him with as much exercise and stimulation as possible. I've even contemplated getting a goat to keep him company!
I was slightly horrified when the vet suggested the possibility of surgery to stop Henry's cribbing behaviour. She explained how surgery involves scarring the muscles in the throat so that the horse cannot flex them whilst cribbing. This seemed very extreme to me and I would not want to put Henry through surgery if there were other potential solutions left to try. Besides, the cost of a forking out for a visit to a specialist equine surgical facility as well as general anaesthesia didn't exactly thrill me.
Buying Anti Cribbing Products
I have tried a number of anti cribbing products over the past few years, and naturally some have proved more effective than others. Without a doubt, one of the most useful has been Hydrophane Cribox Ointment. It is designed to deter horses from crib-biting and gnawing wooden rails in stables. It's certainly lived up to its promise, and I can see why it has been used by horse riders for generations. It is an inexpensive solution to a difficult problem.