windsucking

Discussion in 'Problem Horses' started by wildwelsh, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Flair

    Flair New Member

    That's so sad :( I'll keep my fingers and toes crossed that she gets better after the foal is born. Let us know how she goes.

    Why do they do it to themselves?? Wish there was a cure..
     
  2. Shera

    Shera Active Member

    MLP I hope this doesn't sound horrible... I'm only writing this becasue it comes from first hand experience of breeding from a windsucking mare.

    Do what ever you can to stop this mare from windsucking while the foal is at foot.
    Electrify the fences, put a grazing muzzle on her while she is in the paddock so she can't latch on to anything (this will stop her teeth wearing down too) she will still be able to drink and eat only take it off for supervised feeds if you can.
    Unfortunately I think you will have a hard time preventing the foal from windsucking if you can't stop her while the foal is at foot... I hope I'm wrong.

    No one really knows exactly what causes windsucking, some people think it is a learnt from their mums in these cases, but then why do some pick it up and some don't?
    There have been reports of multiple offspring windsucking from stallions that windsuck which I find really interesting. I wonder if there is a genetic disposition? Hopefully someone will be able to narrow down the cause and find a solution one day!
     
  3. Sharaway

    Sharaway Well-known Member

    While I can understand why E4E and others are passionate about giving windsuckers a go, I personally will not.

    There a management nightmare and can lead to even more expensive problems, insurers are not a fan either.

    A no for me under any circumstance.

    ****MLP when the mare teaches the foal everything else why are you so sure the mare won't teach the foal to windsuck, or at the very least predispose it to giving the behavioir a go latter in life when it's stress gets to much for it?
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011
  4. mylittlepony

    mylittlepony Well-known Member

    Thanks for the advice Shera. I have bred quite a few horses, and have had windsucking broodmares before, just not one quite this bad. If I could stop the mare from sucking, then she wouldnt be having the problems I am now. Electric fences and collars dont work with her, and she can't be muzzled as she is on ad lib hay.
    I don't believe that windsucking is learnt from other horses, but I'm not concerned anyway about the foal learning it as the foal will be weaned very very early because the mare needs to be put down. I will give her one month after foaling to see if she stops windsucking so much.
    As much as I adore the mare, im not going to let her continue to waste away and I will do what i think is best for her.
     
    Last edited: Oct 1, 2011
  5. Hen

    Hen Well-known Member

    MLP - once foal is weaned, could you try tossing her out in a big spelling paddock down south somewhere and just let her mentally and physically reboot?
     
  6. mylittlepony

    mylittlepony Well-known Member

    She is in a big paddock, she has been out of work for nearly 12 months now.
    I only have one other mare in with her as she has never done well in a herd situation. Bottom of the pecking order and always ends up covered in kick and bite marks and it just totally stresses her out.
    I honestly think the windsucking only got this bad because she genuinley doesn't like being pregnant. I can't blame her, it does appear to be a lively foal that is constantly booting her insides.
    Hopefully after foaling she might be happier.
    I will update everyone with what happens after she foals.
     
  7. wattle6180

    wattle6180 Gold Member

    MLP I know you have a big breeding background and have worked on Studs etc, but I just wanted to question 2 things you've written. 8 kg's of grain and she has next to no teeth ';' How is she able to chew and digest the grain? I ask this because I've realized myself this year how much grain I'd been putting in one end of my horses and how much (grain) was coming out the other end. Grain coming out in manure is a waste of money, I've decided :). I've had much more success with feeding loads more hay (and this time of year pasture), upping the lucerne chaff, and adding easily digestible foods like FFS, canola meal and soaked lupins. With a windsucker (or preggers mate) this would be a fairly reasonable diet with Vits/mins and salts.

    Ive also found feeding a good handful of bicarb and sea salt soothes windsuckers a bit as well. More drinking to assist digestion.

    Good Luck with your mare and foal. I hope she doesn't stress toooo much :(
     
  8. mylittlepony

    mylittlepony Well-known Member

    Hi Wattle. She is currently getting oats, lupins, barley, salt and cell grow, all soaked so that its easy for her to eat. Feed is split into 3 feeds a day. She is also on gastrozol.
    Shes on ad lib hay, but I was thinking about changing to hay cubes as they may be easier for her to chew?
    Thanks for the tip with the bicarb, I might get some and give it a try.
    I have been trying to keep her as quiet and unstressed as possible, hopefully the foal might help once its born.
     
  9. Elanda

    Elanda Gold Member

    Good luck to anyone that thinks this is as simple as just getting your $$ back:( I was "done" and bought a pony that windsucked a while back, when I contacted the seller(the next day) they denied that he ever had before and accused me of not feeding him, he was chronic and 14 yo. When I looked into taking it to court I was put in contact with others who had tried. Both were for far more expensive horses and both settled out of court eventually after paying a huge amount in legal bills, so ended up with far less than the purchase price :( It is not a cut and dried thing, you need stat decs from witnesses before you purchased the horse and/or previous owners and then YOU have to prove that the seller knew that the horse windsucks#( I had to move pony from agistment immediately and find alternative agistment to keep him while I advertised him for 1/2 what I had just paid. Luckily he found an awesome home with a lovely family that where happy to deal with his vice. Great for the pony, not so good for the bank balance :(
     
  10. mylittlepony

    mylittlepony Well-known Member

    Elanda it is that simple. All you need for for a vet to witness the horse windsucking. It doesn't matter if the owner denies knowing.
     
  11. InkibahD

    InkibahD Well-known Member

    My horse is a wind sucker, as was his mother, and his full sister...his full sister had a filly and she was a windsucker, she had a filly (my new horse) and miracles do happen as she isnt a wind sucker.. LOL
    I have nothing agains them and would never not get a horse coz it was a windsucker...it can be managed...my horse is chronic but with a miricle collar which he has been wearing since the age of 4 (he is now 17) he has always held condition and there is nothing wrong with his teeth because he wears the miricle collar...while he is chronic while wearing the collar hes no diferent to any other horse.
    and he has been the baby sitter for many baby horses and not one of them learnt to windsuck...
     
  12. EVP

    EVP Gold Member

    I also believe that its a leant behaviour in that others get curious about the "post/fence preoccupation" and it has the potential to start from there. Having boarded race horses in the past I know its a problem.

    The thing you must consider is not just you but potential re-sale.

    Will someone else want to buy the horse - even if you put alot of time, effort and money into education?
    Will an agistment establishment want to take the horse because of the damage they do to fencing, stables ect?
    Plus the risk to other agisters horses from a learned vice.

    Something else that was pointed out to me was that a horse who is being bought or trained for a discipline will develop differently in the neck and crest plus the prospect of gastric ulcers, colic, damage to teeth from cribbing and the lack of topline development for showing/dressage.

    Personally, with all the other horse available in the market, unless the horse ticks every other box pass it over.
     
  13. Lauren

    Lauren Gold Member

    Well.. I ended up with another windsucker.

    Drives me up the freaking wall! But doesn't seem to bother him and he doesn't do it if the collar is on tight.

    He ticked every other box, and the reason I could afford him is because he's a windsucker!!! I don't agist at a centre (and even then.. I found *most* were ok provided they wore a collar) and I don't *plan* on selling him on.. obviously things happen and I may have to.. I'll just have to be aware that his resale value is going to be lesser than a non windsucker.
     
  14. Pockets

    Pockets Gold Member

    I'm not sure it is just a learned vice -I think they have to have a pre-disposition to it. Buffy was out with my gelding Giles (who was a pretty bad windsucker) from about 6 weeks old and she never picked it up and neither did any of the others. I've had 3 or 4 windsuckers here and unless it affects their weight or teeth I tend to leave them to it, not a fan of collars...have never had any other horses start!
     
  15. RoryGirl

    RoryGirl New Member

    we have a hard core wind sucker at my agistment. the girl that bought him wasnt aware that he did it and has said she wouldnt have bought him if she had known.
    he has destroyed his yard plenty of time and has severe stomach ulcers and no front teeth left due to his windsucking.

    for me personally, i wouldnt buy a wind sucker ever. its just horrible for me
     
  16. Fireplay

    Fireplay New Member

    I know two or three horses that windsuck.. Two of which have been competing three star for a couple of years now. One is a chronic windsucker but is also 18, he pulls up fine after xc and the vet said numerous times its not affecting his condition. I also had my young one who did it and he did out of boredom, I had all my horses paddocked next to him and they never once learnt how to do it. No horse I'v been around has tried to copy. I really think it is just a bad habit like us biting our nails and alike! :)
     
  17. mylittlepony

    mylittlepony Well-known Member

    My mare that I mentioned earlier in this thread, will be pts in febuary when we wean her foal. Windsucking has destroyed her and we believe her stomach is ruined. Its a sad thing to watch a horse slowly destroy themselves. I love her to bits but I'm just not willing to watch her waste away.
     
  18. Neighlands

    Neighlands Well-known Member

    I have or shall i say had a windsucker - he doesn't do it any longer since he moved to my paddocks where he is on 25 acres with a couple of other guys. He was pretty bad, teeth worn and fences ruined. However since the day I moved him 3 months ago - not a single suck, can stand right over a fence post and nothing. Previous agistment I would have said was lovely but no, he windsucked there.

    MLP - I am so sorry you are having to face this decision with your girl. You have a PM.
     
  19. HorseaGal

    HorseaGal Active Member

    I also have a windsucker. He is just about perfect in every other way, so if this is his only vice, well I think I've got a pretty good deal. My boy is not a nervy stressy horse either, he is very chilled and laid back, it is simply a habit I haven't been able to break (yet hopefully!). Apparently he has always windsucked, and I have not found a way to prevent him from doing it. He has a collar, and it will be done up as tight as possible but he will still suck on a tall retic post, so that the collar is loose as he stretches his neck up or alternatively rub his head on a post so the strap around his forehead slides up over his ears so that it is looser.
    The only way to reduce the amount of time he spends doing it is to have him in with a friend, and food. Being fat enough as it is, that's a bit difficult, he is on grass 24/7 :p I can spray iodine on the gate and it stops him for about 30 mins, after which he goes straight back to sucking. Next is to try crib-stop but I have the feeling he is going to lick it off :p
    It does not affect him in anyway, and he does it on metal gates most of the time, so the fence posts don't get too destroyed. None of the other horses have picked up on it either. It definitely does not affect his weight or condition, and he loves food so much he will eat no matter what. He is currently on whey powder to see if it makes any difference but I doubt it does.
    I am lucky that my agister does not mind, she took me to see him when he was for sale so knew from the start that he windsucks. Will be in trouble if I need to move!
    After putting so much work into him, and getting the results I have, and having so much further to go, I would not swap him for the world!
     

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