Unfortunately, stereotypes regarding a horse’s behaviour is very common when it comes to horses. Until quite recently these behaviours (known as vices) were considered to be the fault of the horse. But it seems that this is actually a result of inadequate feeding or caring, and is not the fault of the horse. Some bad behaviour includes crib biting, weaving, chewing wood and nodding. The biting actions (crib biting and wood chewing) are thought to be the effects of bad diet and feeding. Other bad behaviour is generally thought to be down to movement restriction.
Apparently a shocking 4% of equine horses crib bite! Horses that crib bite have reduced performance because of all the problems that can arise. Lots of saliva is produced when a horse crib bites – which could be why he (or she) does it! This is because saliva reduces discomfort in a horse that is fasted; a horse that is fed too little forage and//or too much starchy feed. Crib biting horses salivate less than horses that don’t. Coincidence? I think not!
To combat this feed your horse plenty of forage and cut back on grain based starchy feed. You can add vegetable oil to feed to provide extra energy! Please do not use anti cribbing collars – they cause frustration and probably worsen the situation. This could be considered inhumane.