windsucking

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by trail junkie, Mar 13, 2010.

  1. trail junkie

    trail junkie New Member

    a friend of mines horse is a windsucker.
    he has not long turned 5 and is about a year off the track.
    he was a winduscker when she first got him about a year ago and has tried everything, from the sprays to the collars but he still windsucks. she is currently replacing all the wooden posts with metal, and metal railing now also, but he still finds ways to windsuck.
    his conditon has dropped a little as well, he gets the same amt of feed as her two other horses which are both extremely fat and he is wormed/teeth done regularly.
    she is desperate to stop his windsucking, does anyone have any suggestions i can pass on to her?
     
  2. Eventer4Ever

    Eventer4Ever Well-known Member

    Nope. I've had two windsuckers in a row now and haven't found a way to stop it.
    As for condition, I've never found that it affects our windsuckers at all. Maybe the horse (I'm guessing he's a Tb?) just needs more feed than her other horses, it may have nothing to do with the windsucking.

    The only way we've found them to stop it, is make all the fencing electric wires. Metal doesn't deter them at all.
    Also, has she done the collars up tight enough? I know it's horrible but the collars need to be done up quite tight and although this doesn't stop the horse from 'trying' to windsuck, it stops them from actually sucking in any air.

    Good luck. I have a feeling it might just be something she has to live with :)
     
  3. pso

    pso Gold Member

    I've never had a problem keeping weight on windsuckers.

    Electric fences, and miracle collars**)
     
  4. trail junkie

    trail junkie New Member

    its sad there is no 'definate' solution:( yes she had some one come out to show her where the collars go and how tight they need to be as she has never had a winduscker before, but that didnt stop him
     
  5. pso

    pso Gold Member

    There is an operation that stops them, but it is a tad disfiguring
     
  6. Pockets

    Pockets Gold Member

    Stick them on a hayroll.
     
  7. alex

    alex Well-known Member

    I have a cribber and a windsucker.
    Best idea is to put a standoff electic fence that's higher than each rail so he can't grab onto anything...

    Both of my boys are in extremely good condition, they have a hay roll 24/7 and 2 hard feeds per day. Your friend may need to adjust her feed for each horse.
     
  8. beau

    beau Well-known Member

    Boredom is one of the biggest factors of windsucking.

    We have had a few racehorses arrive with their collars, and I take them off, put them in with buddies, hay rolls and lots of room to play, plus full on electric fencing, have not had a problem with them.
     
  9. alex

    alex Well-known Member

    Beau, sometimes this is not an option. I know it isn't for my horses as each is in full competition work and paddocked individually to minimise injury from play, and to keep rugs and skin intact =]
     
  10. beau

    beau Well-known Member

    Yep I agree with you cabmaster, I should have added that its not easy for everyone to achieve this.

    We are fortunate that we have very large paddocks and even our competion horses are grouped together, we just find for us it keeps their minds more active.
     
  11. alex

    alex Well-known Member

    Hehe, I would love to be able to let mine out together, but everytime I do, they come back hurt!!!

    Maybe he needs a toy as well as the standoff leccy!
     
  12. I think its about 80% of racehorses come off the track suffering from gastric ulcers. Once they learn to windsuck I don't think you can stop it entirely but if they have ulcers and you can fix those, it can greatly reduce the habit. Plus of course the usuals... hay roll, stimulation, turnout as much as humanly possible with others, collars if you don't have electric standoffs on EVERYTHING - all that can really help reduce the habit.
     
  13. citygirl

    citygirl Gold Member

    ditto to ML...the horses I've come across did really well on Whey powder.

    All the best

    Cheers
    Lee
     
  14. finitey

    finitey Well-known Member

    My boy is a windsucker too, so I understand your friends frustration :(

    Fortunately I have had great succes with the miracle collar, but like others have said you have to make sure it is done up tight enough. Even with it being done up securely, as soon as the horse drops their head to graze pressure from the collar is released.

    My horse wears his collar 24/7 and I have had no major problems with rubbing as long as the collar is on tight enough so that he doesn't try to windsuck. He is in fantastic condition and I couldn't be happier with the product. I have also tried the webbing collars and had issues with them rubbing which is why I moved to the miracle collar which is all leather.

    Unless you can electrify every fence in your horses paddock, and make sure there are no sprinklers or other objects that they can grab onto, it can be a very difficult vice to manage without resorting to collars. I have tried turning him out with multiple horses in a large area on excellent pasture and he didn't windsuck for around a month but then the vice came back. I have found his windsucking tendancies are worse when he is not in work regularly, so I would suggest that it is really important to make sure your friend regularly rides and/or handles their horse - try and keep them busy and stimulated. Other things that have helped reduce my horses windsucking tendancies are paddocking 24/7 or at least WIWO out night - avoiding stabling has helped considerably.

    At the end of the day of course I would prefer to have a horse that didn't windsuck. But in my opinion there are certainly far worse vices a horse can have. I hope you find an option that works for your friends horse!
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2010
  15. finitey

    finitey Well-known Member

    As far as feeding horses whey powder, I looked into this recently to assist in muscle recovery and discovered that feeding it in higher quanitites can cause diarrohea because of its high lactose quantity (mature horses lack lactase enzyme required to break it down). I am unsure what is defined as "higher quantities" but it is something to be aware of.
     
  16. Sugar's Mum

    Sugar's Mum Gold Member

    I used to work at a stud that had a mare and several yearlings who all windsucked. THey were in an electric fence adn so learned to wind suck off each other :(

    There is an operation but it is not always successful.
     
  17. Deb2

    Deb2 Guest

    If the horse is windsucking because it has ulcers, then what the horse is trying to do is nutrilise the acids in the stomach by windsucking which causes saliva which the horse swallows and that goes down to the stomach and nutrilises the acids therefore making the horse feel more comfortable.

    If you put one of those collars on the horse, then how will he nutrilise the acids in his stomach???? Have you ever thought of this problem. I think people like to think that they have solved the problem because they cant see the horse windsucking any more, but the poor horse is still left with the burning in the gutt from the ulcer, and now no saliva to help nutrilise it.

    There are many ulcer treatments to try, after first having the ulcer diagnosed. Also, ab-lib hay and electric fences would have to help. The eating of the hay would provide the stomach with the saliva, and hopefully the horse will learn that eating plenty of hay will easy the pain.

    I would also add copper sulphate to the diet as it is known to help, but its up to the individual as to weather or not they want to do that. You can PM me if you want suggestions on quantities.

    Hope the horsey improves.
    Deb
     
  18. wattle6180

    wattle6180 Gold Member

    I feel the same way as Ziggy. I've had two windsuckers (one is here and one down south, retired). One came to me as an absolute skeleton because he was a chronic, insecure windsucker. He cannot be fed with another horse in his paddock as he will just worry himself so much that the other horse will eat his feed that he just gives up immediately and wanders off to windsuck. All alone, he will eat his feed in one continuous feed :confused: That horse suffers ulcers AND anxiety. He is managed accordingly.

    You can feed your horse all day long, but if it's the wrong feeds, it will just advcance some of the underlying physical causes of windsucking (one of which is ulcers). My windsuckers do very well (gain weight), on loads of lucerne, meadow hay, pellets (weaner/grower), bran and a good supplement. I also give them a more salt than my other horses and bicarb to aide with their stomach pH. The one at home has loads of hay and the retired lad is on pasture 24/7.

    trail junkie you might want to look at exactly what your friend's horse is fed. I have found for windsuckers, less can be more :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2010
  19. Eventer4Ever

    Eventer4Ever Well-known Member

    Hey guys just a question....
    Have read all your posts about ulcers and although it has occurred to us that Mocha might have them, we have never looked completely into it because he's not really that chronic with his windsucking. For eg, we can put him out in a paddock and he won't do it but as soon as we give him a hard feed, it's like he's stuck to the damn rail!

    So how do you guys think we should tackle this? How do we find out for sure whether it's ucers or not??

    Sorry to hijack.
     
  20. Pockets

    Pockets Gold Member

    Its cheaper to treat for ulcers than to test for them-most vets will just prescibe a course. My boss reckons 90% of horses(not just TBs) have ulcers!! Scarey!
    I agree with you too Ziggy!
     

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