Episode 28: Cribbing

September 29, 2018

 

In the previous podcast our guest, Michaela Hempen set the stage for this week’s podcast by describing single-subject design studies.  Now she shares with us some research she has been doing on cribbing.

 

Anyone who has had a cribber in their barn knows what an annoying habit this can be.  But it is more than an annoyance.  Cribbing has been linked to some serious health issues, including a higher risk of colics.  Michaela summarizes the different types of interventions people try - often drawing from the medical model and the ethological approach.  These help but only up to a point.  Michaela has been taking a different approach.  She is looking at the types of interventions that might be effective if we think of cribbing from the perspective of operant conditioning. 

 

You don’t have to have a cribber to benefit from this podcast.  We can all become citizen scientists as we learn to incorporate single-subject design studies into our training.  What is the best training strategy for your horse?  Does he work better if you use bigger treats, different treats, a variety of treats?  Now you don’t have to guess.  You can set up AB reversals and directly ask your horse these questions and many more.

 

 

 

 

 

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