Thought 4the day: I was taught a lesson by a horse yesterday a valuable one and not in a nasty way. My friend mandi came over and was playing and working with a new one we have in. He was on high alert at all times and needed to know that things were not that bad and will get better. One example was i was drinking my coffee when he simply stuck his tongue in it being curious yet his reaction strai...ght after was to throw his head up waiting for the repremand. I simply offered him my cup and because i did so he relaxed a little . Thanks to Mandi it got to the stage where he was mutual grooming my hair as i scratched his shoulder :o) He was alot happier and more settled after all of this that he stood mutual grooming and tickling darren and andree from free spirit ponies in the afternoon :o) Mandi is magic and should be bottled :o)
Fact 4the day: Negative consequences
Cribbing and windsucking have been linked to a higher incidence of stomach ulcers and are also defined as risk factors for certain types of colic. Colic can also be a consequence of wood chewing due to the ingestion of wood splinters. Both cribbing and wood chewing can cause excessive wearing and deterioration of the teeth in severe cases. Horses displaying t...
hese types of oral stereotypies may be less desirable to potential buyers and may be devalued as a consequence.
It has been anecdotally reported that horses can learn to copy these behaviors from other horses, although this has not been substantiated by scientific study. Wood chewing also is destructive to barns and fences, sometimes requiring costly repairs and ongoing maintenance.
Wood chewing has been linked with dietary deficiencies, and often can be remedied with a balanced diet or dietary supplementation. Some cases are thought to be linked to boredom or anxiety, often related to confinement. Boredom, stress, habit and addiction are also all possible causes of cribbing and windsucking. It was proposed in a 2002 study that the link between intestinal conditions such as gastric inflammation or colic and oral stereotypies was attributable to environmental factors.
Researchers now generally agree that cribbing and windsucking occur most often in stabled horses, although once established in an individual horse, the horse may exhibit these behaviors in other places. Recently these stereotypies have been observed to occur more frequently in horses that were stable-weaned as foals than in those that were pasture-weaned. In the same study, feeding concentrates after weaning was associated with a fourfold increase in the rate of development of cribbing.
Cribbing and windsucking may cause a sensation of pleasure by releasing endorphins in the horse's brain. More recently however, it has been suggested that the increase in saliva produced during windsucking could be a mechanism for neutralizing stomach conditions in stable-kept, grain-fed horses.
It has been shown that feeding cribbing horses an antacid diet can significantly reduce its frequency. Current research in this field indicates that the prevention of these stereotypic behaviors is based upon management conditions which allow daily free movement and feeding practices that provide higher amounts of roughage and limited amounts of concentrates. A growing body of work suggests that fat and fiber-based diets may also result in calmer patterns of behavior.
There are a number of traditional methods for minimizing or preventing cribbing, windsucking, and wood-chewing. However, the effectiveness of these methods is arguable since they do not address the underlying causal factors. One method involves the horse wearing a collar-like devce that prevents it from arching and swelling its neck to suck in air. Covering exposed edges with metal or wire or painting surfaces with bitter substances such as carbolineum or a commercial "chew stop" product may reduce wood-chewing, though do not entirely prevent edges being gripped by the teeth. Other methods to prevent cribbing have included surgery, acupuncture, use of pharmaceuticals, operant feeding, and environmental enrichment.
Quote 4the day: Life is unique and life can be fulfilled but in my eyes life is only unique and fulfilled with my four legged friend at my side..