CRIB-BITING, says Mr. Boardman, author of a Dictionary of the Veterinary Art, and veterinary surgeon to the third or king's own regiment of dragoons, " is rather a habit than a disorder, though I may say it is a very bad one, and should be prevented if possible. Young horses are most subject to get this habit, and it is often occasioned by uneasiness in breeding of teeth, and from being ill fed when they are hungry. The bad consequences are, wearing away their teeth, spilling their corn, and sucking in the air in such quantities as will often give them the cholic or gripes. The. best method is to put a little straw into his manger to prevent his biting it, and to abridge his allowance of hay ; or you may put him by a wall where there is no manger, and lay his hay on the ground, and give him his oats in a bag; if this practice be pursued for any length of time, it will effectually cure him of this very pernicious habit."
Although the Royal Society of Arts has pronounced Mr. Yare's muzzle to be " an infallible preventive, and in many cases an effectual cure," for crib-biting, we take leave to dissent from that learned body. The anti-crib-biter certainly is an ingenious contrivance to mitigate a great evil, and the public is, therefore, indebted to that gentleman for his laudable attempts; butto blazon it forth as being " an effectual cure" for this vicious habit is going too far. The man who introduces it into his stable under the expectation of effecting a radical cure will, assuredly, be disappointed. The whole secret of crib-biting, as Mr. Castley justly remarks, may be told in a very few words. It is neither more nor less than a bad habit; only, one of a great number that horses are very liable to contract. The best advice is, never buy a crib-biter, he is always getting worse.
Harewood, Harry. A Dictionary of Sports. London: T. Tegg and son, 1835.
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