Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by Hunnie Bum, Jun 9, 2005.

  1. Hunnie Bum

    Hunnie Bum Well-known Member

    I have a question to all those horsey people out there, and lets just hope it works this time!
    Why do horses Winsuck, Windgape, Windi's (what ever you want to call it)??It confuses me soooo much like different people say different things but I just dont know!
    Is it because: Pain, Boredem, Hungry, like the taste? I have heard all of them before and was just wondering what everyone thought? I thought it may have been pain, but thats just me. what does everyone else say?

    ~-Horses are my Life-~

    I love you Snoopy, R.I.P mate!

  2. DD

    DD Guest

    ....and I'll answer again......

    Windsucking is generally caused initially through boredom or stress( which may cause ulcers, hence the pain explaination sometimes given, however it occurs in horses with no pain aswell, the excuse doesn't hold up in all cases. Considering the stressed horses that get ulcers are usually also confined and bored, that hypothesis is probably more likely) After the habit becomes established it often continues even after the cause is removed due to the addictive nature of the endorphines released into the body.
    Other horses may not show the behaviour again until placed under further stress.

    It rarely has any real physical effect (other than tooth damage in some cases, ussually only significant in extreme cases). Most of the things you hear about it's iill effects are urban myths. In most cases the big efffffect is on the observer who gets all stressed about it!

    Shut up and ride!
  3. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    yep DD is spot on
    windsucker dont worry me in the slightest (never have)
    none of my other horses or aggisties ever picked up the habit.
    windsuckers arrives, take off whatever contraption the owners have on it, good massage, lots of love and find what relaxes the horse (usually some sort of companion) and vollah, horse is relaxed and happy and stops windsucking (untill they are stressed out again)
    had one aggisty for 2yrs that was so bad it use to suck thin air.
    she got over it, she had a foal and had to be locked up in the stable for 12 weeks ( foal was recovering from opp) and she handled her confinment like a pro. plenty of feed and toys, and she never passed on her winsucking vice onto her foal or to any other horse on my property.
  4. Hunnie Bum

    Hunnie Bum Well-known Member

    okay so it is because of pain?

    ~-Horses are my Life-~

    I love you Snoopy, R.I.P mate!

  5. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    not nessesarily,
    yes in some cases and boredom in others,
    you usually see it in horses that are stabled for long periods at a time. eg race horses only get out of stables or small yards to work and then straight back in stable or small yard.
    weaving and pacing (walking the yard) are just some other vices they can pick up due to stress, pain or boredom.
    hope this helps
  6. Kasia

    Kasia Well-known Member

    Actually there was a thing about it in Burke's Backyard a few years back.
    Some guy was doing research on windsucking, and he found that yes, although it can be caused through boredom and stress, it's most likely caused through bad feeding practices.

    Too much grain and crap in the feeds, and not enough grazing and roughage creates problems in the gut, such as pain and discomfort. The windsucking creates extra saliva, or some such (sorry i forget), and helps digestion, and therefore the discomfort.
    Many horses who windsuck have ulcers due to the diet. They don't have ulcers due to windsucking.

    There have also been lots of cases in which, when the horse is allowed to graze and given enough roughage, the windsucking stops or decreases.
  7. finitey

    finitey Well-known Member

    Smash, some advice please on stopping a wndsucker without a colar

    My horse is a windsucker. I have had him since February and he windsucks if his collar is taken off and no-one is watching. He has his collar on every day in the paddock and off at night and he generally fine when stabled at night. He is a happy unstressed horse, a picture of health, and he is definately receiving enough "attention" from me, so I am interested in your experience, what I am doing wrong as he still windsucks if I take off his collar? He is individually paddocked but has companions over the fence.


    ....Light travels faster then sound, thats why some people may appear bright until you hear them speak....
  8. DD

    DD Guest

    Kasia, the problem you are refering to is hind gut acidosis. It's worst sideefect for long term problems? Long term low grade laminitis, leading to all sorts of ongoing hoof problem and lamenesses. At a rough guess I'd say 80-90% of race horses show evidence of the problem and at least 50% of "equestrian" horses (other than those just paddocked and hay fed) show evidence as well.

    Finitey, As I said before, once established, windsuckiing becomes an addiction or habit. The chemical processes are similar to those found in humans with OCD/Depression/Bi Polar ect.

    Changeing the horses diet does not work through reducing pain or makiing up for something missing in their diet, it works by distracting them from the habit. .....thats why it only works sometimes,......sometimes the habit is stronger.

    SSRI's can work is some horses, just as they do for some humans with related problems. Finding the correct SSRI can be a long process and long term treatment can be very expensive.

    Addiction treatment drugs such as Naltrexone are showing promise in some US studies but not widely used as yet.

    Considering the problem rarely has any real effect other than to piss off the observers, It's probably much easier, Cheaper(?) and more fun to self medicate with copious quantities of alcoholic beverage than to subject the horses to collars and potions! So forget about it and have another drink! [​IMG]

    Shut up and ride!
  9. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    ha ha ha DD you are a classic LOL
    but he is very correct
    all my paddocks are electric so when i take of collars or whatever contraption the owners put on them they can suck air to their hearts contents.
    a paddock companion (mini, goat or anything they get along with) helps DISTRACT from windsucking. after a while they just dont bother doing it anymore.
    but usually as soon as they get stressed they will windsuck, but not as bad as before.
    with less stress the less they do it.
    stress = soreness, pain or boredom (have fun working out which one)
    so whatever you decide to do have a drink and i think you should pour one for DD.
    ps. i love southern comfort LOL
  10. finitey

    finitey Well-known Member

    Thanks, thats exactly what I thought DD, as previously discussed.

    Smash, the only reason I asked what your "trick"was, was because you said horses at your centre don't windsuck with time in your care.

    My horse is also at an agistment centre, all fences are electrified apart from the fence into the paddock, and he is stabled at night and very occasionally does in in his stable. I would love to take his collar off during the day but in all fairness it is not my property and thus I cannot let Bobby wreak fences/stables. If he was on my property the collar would be off.

    ....Light travels faster then sound, thats why some people may appear bright until you hear them speak....
  11. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    yep with time
    also mentioned within 2 yrs
    there is no trick, just time and finding the problem.
    and not all horses stop.
    but like i said it doesnt worry me, and you know murphys law.
    if it windsukers worries you
    you will end up with a windsucker
    cheers and good luck
  12. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    unless you sleep in the stables how do you know he is not windsucking when you are not watching.
    and if he is truley not windsucking in the stable why have is on in the paddock?
    windsuckers are usually 10 times worse in the stables
    food for thought anyway
    good luck anyway
  13. finitey

    finitey Well-known Member

    So true smash, all I know is he doesn't windsuck in the stables when anyone is up there or the light are on. Windsucking personally doesn't bother me at all but it would be nice not to have a gg with this problem. I am lucky through coz Bobby has no "obvious" effects of this vice, he holds weight really well. Some windsuckers are a nightmare to keep weight on.

    Like I said if it was my property the collar would be off and I'd put a companion in the paddock with him. Oh well, have to wait till I win lotto

    ....Light travels faster then sound, thats why some people may appear bright until you hear them speak....
  14. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    ha ha your lucky numbers are 12,33,6,27,8,23 14,41.
    just tricken LOL
    the ones that loose weight usually have problems with their gut(stuff like ulcers) if his happy and looks good just have a drink and dont worry (i know your not worried) and enjoy
    wishing you all the best
  15. DD

    DD Guest

    He doesn't do it when someone is there because he is distracted from it????? Sounds like a reasonable explaination.

    I'd say no higher % of WS hard to kkeep weight on than any other random group of TB's (and lets face it most WS are TB's.) As was said the ones that are hard to keep weight on usually have another underlying problem.

    If they are hard to keep weight on and windsuck, people blame the windsucking, if they are hard to keep weight on and don't windsuck, well they are just a "typical TB hard keeper ". Just a case of people blaming the "obvious" reason.

    Shut up and ride!
  16. Kasia

    Kasia Well-known Member

    Well, maybe it's because im tired and going slightly mad, but DD - I agree with you 100%.
    Did i just say that? [​IMG]

    Yes, i definatelly agree. Most racehorses (about 90%) also have ulcers and more than that have some kind of digestive problem due to all the crap feed they are getting. Most also have bad habits derived from boredom (such as weaving and nipping).
    And a lot windsuck.

    I would also definatelly agree with what you say about windsuckers loosing weight. And if this is the case, i'd say your feeding/management needs a look at, and the horse needs a thorough vet checkup, because something's up.
  17. DD

    DD Guest

    The % of racehorse with ulcers is a lot lower than the quote figure of 90% in my experience. Having posted a hell of a lot of horses, many directly from the track, the numbers I've seen were much lower probably 40% at the most!

    I think "ulcers" are the latest fad diagnosis for everything under the sun!

    He's slow? ulcer!
    Bad feet? ulcer!
    Windsuck? ulcer?
    Coat looks shaggy? ulcer!
    Hard keeper? ulcer!
    Cant passage? ulcer!


    Shut up and ride!
  18. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    kasia, i am lost
    whos feed management needs looking at and whos horse needs a vet check ?
    sorry i cant find any post saying this LOL
    sorry just blonde LOL
  19. finitey

    finitey Well-known Member

    Hahaha I agree DD.

    I don't know how many times I have heard "oh he's a windsucker, theres your problem with weight". Should really be "he's a TB theres your problem with weight". Having said that though I have only ever had one TB with a weight problem, he did finally bulk up with extra grain but unfortunately was too hot to do much with. Typical.

    Kasia, who are you referring to needing a vet check-up? My horse is a picture of health.

    ....Light travels faster then sound, thats why some people may appear bright until you hear them speak....
  20. smash

    smash Well-known Member

    hi finitey
    i think what DD was saying is that if a T/B is hard to get weight on people just say "typical T/B" but there is a lot of other breeds that have the "typical T/B" look.
    but all horses that are hard to put weight on have an underlining problem and THAT is what you have to find, sometines it obvious and other times just damn hard to find, but there will be one somewhere.
    Now i love the T/B myself so i just have a few words regarding them.
    they are born,
    they are locked up and feed up for the sales,
    they are broken in
    they are fed for energy
    they are trained to run like the wind,
    they are TRAINED to grab that bit and go.
    they have been TRAINED to ignore everything and run.
    now if they are slow or break down thats when we get them, and all of a sudden they get told that every thing they have been trained to do for the last 3 to 4 years has no bearing on their life.
    so we try to re-educate them and feed them up and off to a show. now the majority that had no underlining problem (or the owner has found it and delt with it) turn out to be superstars and the others, well the others have owners who are yet to find the underlining problem and vollah, to hot to ride or mad T/B.
    now if every breed had to be raised like the T/B i wonder how many breeds would be called hot, mad or hard to put weight on. mmmmmmm food for thought !!!!!!!!!
    these are just my thoughts and at the end of the day they mean nothing to anyone but ME.

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