Former Cribber Can Eat an Apple and not Crib

Sans halter browsing the plants.

It’s been 11 years since I took in my first senior horse, Chaco, who cribbed 24/7.  At the time, I didn’t know if it was possible to “cure” cribbing.  Yet, instinctively I knew that his living environment and diet had something to do with why he cribbed.

In the past few years, his cribbing has ceased completely.  I don’t remember the last time he cribbed.  I also have never fed him treats of any kind, not even apples or carrots because they could trigger him to crib instantaneously.

Recently, one afternoon I let him out loose on the property, and when I went to bring him in, I found him hanging out under a tree.  It was a little out of the ordinary, so I went to see what he was up to.  To my surprise, he was helping himself to crab apples that had fallen on the ground.  They were quite small and bite size, and he could easily pick one up, and it would disappear into his mouth effortlessly.

I was so thrilled that he was healthy enough to handle eating an apple he found, and it didn’t cause him to crib.

Yes, it is possible to “cure” a cribbing horse.  Adjust the diet and living environment to more closely mimic the wild and the cribbing will disappear.  It doesn’t happen overnight, but it is a special moment, years later when the one thing that could get him to crib instantly no longer has any power.

While I have no intention of feeding him apples, I’m thrilled that he has found his own treats on occasion, and he can simply enjoy them.  It’s a wonderful day!

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