IDIOTS! (A Horse-related PG-rated Rant)

Dear barn staff,
This weekend, someone was a moron. My horse had a scrape on her forehead, and some brainiac had the big idea to place her cribbing collar* directly over this scrape while I was gone. With the end result that when I arrived back 3 days later the strap had dug into her forehead and I had to call the vet to remove a flap of dead flesh – which will leave a scar AND make her already wimpy forelock even more pathetic.

I’m not sure how you even got the cribbing strap on her since she wasn’t keen on having the area touched when I left thursday night. You probably had to wrestle it on. I hope my horse stomped on your foot while you were tightening leather over her open wound.

Your inability to pay attention turned a routine scrape into a veterinary procedure that cost me $124.53 this morning, and my horse can’t wear a bridle for a month. Thanks, dimwit! :mad:
*Cribbing is a self-stimulating habit some horses devleop out of boredom. They place their teeth on something solid and take a quick deep breath. Its bad for their teeth and destructive to stalls, fences, etc. A cribbing collar looks like:
http://www.statelinetack.com/scripts/product.asp?style=EI3-730774

I’m not a big fan of cribbing collars. You have to really know what you are doing to put one on right. Too tight, and you’re distressing the horse, too loose and it doesn’t work and represents a danger in that it can slide down the neck and cause choking.

Finally, metal buckles on an annoying appliance on an unattended horse are dangerous. I knew a very expensive rodeo horse that lost an eye trying to rub a cribbing strap off.

There’s a couple of possible solutions:

  1. Pasture board your horse if possible.
  2. Make sure it gets lots of exercise
  3. Make sure that it always has hay available.

If all else fails paint cribbing surfaces with creosote, oil of wintergreen, or cinnamon oil.

If all else fails by a couple of pounds of habanero peppers and a gallon of mineral oil. Put the peppers in a food processer and then simmer them in the oil for 8-10 hours.

Strain the mixture and paint over the boards. It will last two months and I guarrantee they won’t crib.

Oh, and bill the barn director for the vet call, tell them not to use behavior corrective treatment on the horse without your permission, and if they refuse, board it somewhere else.

Clarification: It is her cribbing collar, she normally wears it 24/7 (except when being ridden) per barn regs. She gets 12 hours of turnout/day, everyday except in extreme weather (such as hail). She always has hay in front of her in her stall. She’s 14 and a very established cribber. (fyi A miracle collar can’t slide down the neck)

I’ve tried the cinnamon stuff (Farnam’s Chew stop) and her reaction was “yum! Cinnamon!” cribcribcribcrib. Creosote, IMHO is dangerous to ingest. I haven’t tried pepper sauce yet.

I’m partially to blame, because I didn’t leave a large, prominent note on her stall. For this reason I am hesitant to bill the barn. I’m sure it was an honest mistake, just one caused by INATTENTION.

I don’t beleive in any mythical strap that a determined horse can’t work off unless it’s surgically attached (and I’d 'prolly still have reservations.)

I’m surprised your barn makes wearing them mandatory.
The habanero pepper mix will work, and it’s a lot cheaper than putting metal edging on the wood.

I wonder what kind of wood your barn built its stalls out of.

I built box stalls out of oak with 2 inch spacing between the boards all the way up to the ceiling with the corners routed off. The doors are half wood, half metal bars.

I use metal hay racks, automatic waterers and rubber grain buckets.

No cribbing.
Are your stalls built out of pine?

Seriously, try the pepper oil.

I saw a 6 year old stallion with a major attitude (even for a stallion) and a serious bad cribbing habit get his comeuppance this way… He’d crib in any other stall, but one hit of capsicum-tainted railling, and he never took another suck of his own stall’s railing again.

The front of the stalls is solid hardwood (built in the 60s) with metal bars to the top of the stall, and a sliding full door (not dutch door) with bars in the upper half. rear wall (shares a wall with Indoor arena) is reinforced plywood as are the dividers between stalls (no chewing surface). The stall is open to the top as the ceilings are 20+ feet and the wall is high enough that by stretching her neck to her full length she can just barely stick the tip of her nose over. (she is 16hh).

Grain bins are that hard plastic (she doesn’t crib on it), we feed hay off the floor, and use regular plastic hard buckets for water. The only thing she cribs on is the front of her stall, particularly the door (between the bars) and the gap where we pour food into her bin. Cribbing isn’t caused by particular materials but by a combination of genetic inclination and boredom (hence the term stall vice). For example, we have one extremely determined cribber in the barn who will crib on ANYTHING that comes to hand, including people.

She’s never worked the strap off nor made any particular effort to do so. She’s never come in with it loose or otherwise disarrayed.

Anyhoo she has a date with Mr. Capsicum it would seem :slight_smile:

I’ve worked as a cowboy, I’ve trained horses, I breed them. I’ve ridden in the Junior Olympics, done 3 day eventing, dressage. My own horses were , raised and trained by me.

I’m even part horse myself (Here, I’ll drop my pants.)

Anyway, that sentence may be technically true, but it’s a load of bullshit.

Horses have a genetic inclination to crib the way humans have a genetic inclination to pick our nose. I.E. the finger fits.

It’s not boredom, it’s a simple habit that horses pick up from other horses. If the materials are easily cribbable a horse is more likely to crib. The flip side is that if there are no cribbable materials the horse can’t do it no matter how badly it wants to.

Sounds to me like the stall bars aren’t close together enough if they allow cribbing.

Trust me when I tell you that if you keep after it and remove all cribbable materials and make what you can’t remove taste obnoxious, eventually you will get the horse to stop cribbing.

As long as there are not other cribbers nearby your horse will be unlikely to reacquire the habit even if you move him to a stall that can be cribbed.

It’s worth the effort to protect your horses teeth. Floating and dentistry gets real expensive.

I had a cribber once, a fairly high strung Quarter gelding. By the time he was 15 he had pretty well worn his top incisors down to stumps despite a collar and running free in a twenty acre pasture with other horses. He had also destroyer 50 fence posts, a feed bunk and his tie stall. The hassle of owning a cribber is not worth it.

I’m not sure boredom is the cause of cribbing. Every cribber I have known has had some other problem like navicular or chronic colic. I wonder if the cribbing isn’t the animal’s mechanism to deal with the discomfort. Check your horse for a conformation flaw or some bad habit other than cribbing. An animal that gets a fair amount of free time in an open paddock should not be all that bored.

May I ask what your horse’s name is?

Whitie! Don’t get smart with me, Madam. Whitie because he was black with a cast eye.

That was a little harsh. Let’s try this: :stuck_out_tongue:

Explain to me, please, why the stable isn’t liable for the $124.53? Since it was, like, their mistake, in putting the cribbing collar on wrong?

Or did I miss something?

Hello Again’s horse’s name is… Hello Again! I haven’t met her yet, but one of these days (the horse, not the person. I’ve met the person).