|Easy Solutions to Common Horse Problems|
|Common horse problems such as cribbing, rain rot, and stall boredom can be frustrating. Read below to find easy solutions to all of these common complications.|
| Cribbing, when a horse grasps an object with his mouth such as a fence rail, tree stump, or stall door, arches his neck, and then gulps to force air down his throat, is one of the most frustrating horse problems. A horse that cribs can easily cause damage to stall doors and fences.
Why do horses crib? The most common reasons for cribbing are boredom, stress and possibly stomach acidity. Once a horse picks up this destructive habit, it is extremely hard to break. A horse may learn to crib from another horse. In the wild, horses spend about 90% of their time grazing. A horse that spends most of his days shut in a stall may get bored or stressed. This stress can possibly build up stomach acid.
Cribbing is not only damaging to your stable but, it also causes damage to your horse. If a horse cribs, his teeth may be damaged, making it more difficult for him to graze and chew. Also, when a horse cribs he may ingest a sharp peice of wood.
Although cribbing is a very hard habit to break, there are things you can do to help solve the problem. Try letting your horse graze more, and keep a supply of hay in his stall. If your horse is stressed, some time in the field will help him calm down. Applying pepper sprays, or something with a bitter flavor, to any surface your horse cribs normally on, may help fight the habit. Other methods to try include cribbing straps, herbal remedies, or stall toys to fight boredom (read below).
| Skin problems such as rain rot are easy to prevent with care. Rain rot occurs in rainy weather, when a horse's skin is damp and invaded by bacteria. If it is left untreated, infection can occur. Rain rot usually occurs on a horse's back, shoulders, and haunches. It can be identified as rough patches on the skin. The hair usually appears to be matted.
In order to prevent rain rot, keep your horse clean and dry. When you turn your horse out in a rainy season, put a light blanket on him.
To heal rain rot, gently brush and clip infected areas. Wash the area with an anti-bacterial soap. Keep your horse in a clean, dry environment. If infection occurs, and does not show improvement within a few days, contact your veterinarian. All brushes, scissors, or sponges used for cleaning rain rot should be washed before and after use.
| Most horses spend a lot of their time in a stall. For some horses, this can cause stress and boredom. There are several easy ways to keep your horse entertained during his time in the stall.
A stall ball, a toy that hangs in your horse's stall, may help fight boredom. Stall balls come in a vaiety of shapes and sizes. They even come in flavors, so that your horse can have a tasty treat. During hot weather, a fan in your horse's stall may help keep him comfortable. Also, try turning your horse out more and giving him a lot of attention.