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Stop horses trashing the expensive fencing!!

This is my first blog post of many I hope:-).  I am new to Electric Fencing Direct ... my name is Leslie Sutherland.IMAG2140

I wasn't really sure how to start my first ever blog... so here goes I decided to write about something that I am interested in and something that I can give you information about to help you improve a situation.

Why does a horse start to crib?

The root cause of cribbing is stress and boredom. Wild horses do not crib, and spend up to 90% of their time grazing and searching for food. The condition can develop due to a traumatic experience such as when foals are weaned away from their mothers. Domestic horses kept in small enclosed spaces for extended periods of time and not allowed graze naturally are more susceptible to forming habits such as cribbing. There is some research that suggests that cribbing is a response to gastric acidity caused by stress. Cribbing may produce saliva that neutralizes stomach acids. It has also been found that crib biting is closely related to high- concentrate diets and insufficient roughage

What is cribbing?

The term cribbing is used to describe the behaviour of a horse who rests his top teeth on a relatively stationary object and sucks air into his throat. About three percent of all horses crib, although in some populations of thoroughbred racing horses, this figure may be as high as 10 percent.

Cribbing is a repetitive sequence of behaviours that appears to have no purpose. It occurs in all breeds of horses, regardless of temperament, and lasts about three to five seconds. A horse first presses his teeth on an object. Usually any object will do, including a feed bin, a bucket, the top of the stall door or a stall board, a fence or post, a tree trunk or limb, or even the horse’s own foreleg or a human conveniently standing nearby. The horse then contracts his muscles and arches his neck, pulling on the object while sucking air back into his throat and then releasing the air all at once. The release of air makes a distinctive belching or grunting sound. Wind-sucking is similar to cribbing and produces the same noise. The difference between wind-sucking and cribbing is that when wind-sucking, a horse doesn't steady himself on a stationary object before drawing air into the back of his throat.

A similar but unrelated behaviour, wood-chewing or lignophagia, is another undesirable habit observed in horses, but it does not involve sucking in air; the horse simply gnaws on wood rails or boards as if they were food.

Throughout the spring and summer months you will see many horses using trees and fences posts to scratch themselves on, these poor horses are suffering from the dreaded midge attack (unfortunately electric fencing will not stop the attack of midges but it will help your fencing)

What problems does Cribbing cause?

  • Front tooth wear
  • High energy levels, impatience and restlessness
  • Difficulty in maintaining weight
  • Thickened neck muscles
  • Stomach Ulcers and a history of colic
  • Associated with stress and frustration in horses
  • Horse may spend more time cribbing than eating
  • Lastly cribbing damages the objects a horse cribs on... bringing us onto electric fencing....

So how can an electric fence help prevent cribbing, chewing or using your beautiful post and rail wooden fencing which cost you a fortune to install as a scratching post???

Well it is very straight forward - the electric fence keeps the horse who is a cribber, chewer or scratcher away from the fencing and therefore he or she cannot get near enough to the fencing to inflict any damage.  I have selected a few photos at show electric fencing working as a post and rail protection system.  You may have to add more than one line of electric fencing to your post and rail - but this would be a lot cheaper than having to replace whole sections of chewed wooden fencing.

If you have questions about how to install such a fence or perhaps you are new to electric fencing and you are not sure which components you need... please just ask us... we are really happy to start at the beginning and go through everything with you.

We have some ready made kits on line that may suit your requirements alternatively get in touch:

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Leslie Sutherland

About Leslie Sutherland

I have unfortunately got extensive knowledge of escape artists, so I know most of the tricks they use.
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