Over the past decade, crib-biting has received much attention from researchers. By understanding this valuable work, we can contribute to the everyday management of crib-biting horses and ponies.
Grasping a solid object between his incisor teeth, the crib-biter will flex the brachiocephalicus muscles (running from his poll to the underside of his neck, sometimes termed the strap muscles) and emit an audible grunting sound.
All equine behaviour, including crib-biting, is controlled by the “supercomputer” — in other words, the brain. In 2018, researchers from the Royal Agricultural University (RAU) and Aberystwyth University revealed some fundamental brain-based differences between crib-biters and “normal” horses. These differences were discovered within two interlinked brain structures which control feelings of pleasure and motivation.