Tips to Deter Windsucking and Other Stall Vices in Horses
Cribbing is also known as crib-biting, aerophagia, or windsucking and is identified when a horse grasps a fixed object with their teeth such as a stall door, bucket, fence, or any object within their reach. This vice can not only be harmful to your horse, but also to you and the other horses around you.
Cribbing is a nasty habit, and to be honest, can never be fully “cured.” A horse typically starts this compulsive behavior as a coping mechanism to boredom, stress, gastrointestinal instability, stable management, or any combination of those. As the horse bites down on the object of their choosing and inhales, endorphins are released that can give the animal a “high,” encouraging them to continue the behavior. When you start to see your horse exhibiting signs of this bad habit, you should:
- Evaluate your horse’s environment and lifestyle – including their diet, exercise, environment’s cleanliness, and overall happiness.
- Spray the area with a safe equine biting deterrent
- Cribbing collars
- Behavior modification devices
Incorporating one or all these strategies can help deter your horse from continuing its cribbing habit. KONG Equine can be utilized as a behavior modification device. Not only is the rubber material durable and safe for horses to chew on, but by stuffing with treats, it can give them the happy distraction that they are looking for. In cases of cribbing within a stall, it is most ideal to place the KONG Equine Hanging Kit at or around the location where the horse is cribbing. This starts to modify their bad behavior by placing a safer distraction in its place.