Horse Side Vet Guide ®

Equine Health Resource

Muscle Enlargement Lower Muscles of Neck

Code Green - Contact Your Vet to Obtain Useful Advice & Resources

Code Green - Contact Your Vet to Obtain Useful Advice & Resources

  • If you determine that the horse is cribbing and want management advice to reduce the behavior.

Enlarged neck muscles are often found in horses that crib or wind-suck. These behaviors are annoying stall vices.

More importantly, cribbing and wind-sucking are associated with a higher incidence of at least one severe condition causing abdominal pain (colic). So you should make efforts to reduce or stop these behaviors.


Assess your horse’s general health using the Whole Horse Exam (WHE), and monitor them for cribbing or wind-sucking behaviors.

If you suspect that your horse cribs but do not witness it firsthand, look for evidence of bite marks on stall doors or railings. Look at the front (incisor) teeth for cribbing wear. Take a photo of the neck and provide it to your vet for discussion.

Share your findings and concerns with your vet.


Your vet can also evaluate the horse’s front (incisor) teeth for telltale wear patterns associated with cribbing. If it turns out that the neck development relates to cribbing, your vet may have suggestions to lessen or stop these behaviors.

Author: Doug Thal DVM Dipl. ABVP


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