Cribbing or crib biting involves a horse grasping a solid grasping the wind pdf such as the stall door or fence rail with its incisor teeth, then arching its neck, and contracting the lower neck muscles to retract the larynx. This coincides with an in-rush of air into the oesophagus producing the characteristic cribbing grunt. Usually, air is not swallowed but returns to the pharynx. Wind-sucking is a related behavior whereby the horse arches its neck and sucks air into the windpipe but does so without grasping an object.


Wind-sucking is thought to form part of the mechanism of cribbing, rather than being defined as an entirely separate behavior. Cribbing is considered to be an abnormal, compulsive behavior or stereotypy seen in some horses, and is often labelled a stable vice. Cribbing was mentioned in the literature as early as 1578 and occurs in 2. There is evidence that stomach ulcers may lead to a horse becoming a cribber, and that cribbing may be a coping mechanism in response to stress.

A 1998 study found that cribbing increased endorphins and found no evidence that cribbing generally impairs the health of affected horses, but later studies reported that cribbing and wind-sucking were related to a history of colic or the subsequent development of colic. Cribbing, or crib biting, involves a horse grasping a solid object such as the stall door or fence rail with its incisor teeth, arching its neck, and contracting the lower neck muscles to retract the larynx caudally. This movement is coincided with an in-rush of air through the crico-pharynx into the oesophagus producing the characteristic cribbing sound or grunt. Usually, air is not swallowed but returns to the pharynx.