View Full Version : Windsucking.

16th February 2011, 09:15 PM
Hey. :)

Just looking for any advice or tips, really.

Red, unfortunately, came to me with one bad habit, windsucking. :(

He did stop (or at least didnt do it around me) for a while, and now hes doing it even more.

He wears a collar, he lives out and he is worked 4 -5 days a week. I feed him limestone flour, which is supposed to help. He can even manage to windsuck, whilst wearing his collar now! Thankfully, he doesnt use his teeth, he just pulls back using his chin. But now he has a sore patch.

Any help or advice, really would be appreciated. :)

16th February 2011, 09:59 PM
I would take the collar off, if they want to do it they will, if they cant find an edge to bite on they do it by tucking thier chin in instead, what you want to do is try manage his diet and work as best you can, there is no definate link between windsucking and colic so by removing his collar he wont get colic which is what worries most people

limestone flour can help as it nutralises the acid in the stomache which can casue ulcers and is why most horses windsuck is probably becasue they have ulcers, if you wanted to although pricey having him scoped to check for ulcers and treat by the vet could stop him doing it all together but it is expesnive

ollie was chronic for windsucking the best i could manage was him windsucking just around feed times when i was getting him tacked up messing with his rugs or any time where he got a little anxious

he was fed various supplements the ones i tried cant say made much difference - gastri-x, settlex and ulcer gaurd, the one that is meant to be very good is gastro gold but its super pricey i think

what i did was keep him in a routine that made him happy, ollie was also quite riggy and a pain in the field so keeping him in kept him calmer and he was happier so windsucked less, lots and lots of hayledge or hay to eat, plenty of work getting him out of the stable as much as possible luckily he was kept where i worked so i could get him out three times a day once to ride twice for a stroll on the wlaker and occasioanlly also an evening hack, plenty of work kept him happier, he also got all the vitmains and minerals he needed in his feed and alfa a which is meant to coat his tummy, he also was fed on linseed cake which again was meant to have a similar effect and pro bitoics, he never stopped entierly but he would do it less on that routine and diet

16th February 2011, 10:16 PM
Thank you for this. :)

The only thing that has changed really, is the hay. During most of the winter, we just put a couple or large round bales in the field. However, the lady who owns the field complained, saying that it was making the field muddy. So now, we have to hay in the barn. But because people ride in the barn, the hay is no longer ad lib. Plus, he has to stay in the barn, during the day now, for the same reason. Muddy fields.

Red HATES being stabled. Which is why he lives out full time. He will stay in a stable, but he gets really stressed out. As a rule, hes really laid back. So thinking about it, his routine has changed, and his diet has too. That makes a lot of sense. :D

I wonder if feeding him extra limestone flour would be a good idea..... I will have a look at gastro gold too. :D

Thanks for this. x

16th February 2011, 10:51 PM
i think limestone flour if you feed too much can casue calcium deposits so its a good idea to feed too much of it although alot of the gastrix things are based around clacium to nutralise acids, if you feed too much you upste the calcium phosphorus ratio whcih can come with a whole host of other problems, other things that tend to be in the supplemetns are things like liqorice root, marshmallow and other herbal things, someone did find me a home made windsucking supplement recipe but cant rember who it was and i havent used it myself, i think it might of been Tanvas but im not 100% sure

The Little Magician
16th February 2011, 11:10 PM
Global herbs do a wind sucking herbal supplement. I know of a few people who regularily use it with good results.

I have problems with too much acid in my stomach, and I find peppermint oil is really good. Polos or even peppermint cordial is really good.

17th February 2011, 12:04 AM
Ahh fair enough. :)

I do feed him biotin as his hooves werent brilliant when I bought him. And apparently apparently thats supposed to be good for windsuckers too. Ive just had a quick look at that gastro gold and yeah, its 75 a tub. :-p

Will definately have another look at herbil remidies though. Or failing that, give it a couple of weeks, and see how he is once he is allowed out full time again. As you say, the change in diet and routine could be at the route of this. :)

17th February 2011, 12:05 AM
Global herbs do a wind sucking herbal supplement. I know of a few people who regularily use it with good results.

I have problems with too much acid in my stomach, and I find peppermint oil is really good. Polos or even peppermint cordial is really good.

Yeah, I live on Gaviscon. :p

Again, thank you for this, I will definately look into this and see if it works.


17th February 2011, 01:06 PM
acutally yeah rmebering what i used to feed dennis who would also have a little windscuk and was quite gassy he got mint in his feed and that made him less windy lol, and i would occasioanlly give ollie a syringe of gaviscon when we were at big shows or staying over night somewhere he liked the aniseed one

17th February 2011, 06:53 PM
I did wonder about giving him Gaviscon.... Mint sounds like a plan too. :-D Ive been looking at those other type of collars, but theyre 40. I dont mind spending the money, but if its going to be as useful as the collar he is wearing now, I dont want to waste my money. x

17th February 2011, 07:22 PM
As someone else said I'd remove the collar - that only attempts to hide the symptoms rather than address the cause whereas supplements such as Feedmark Settlex and Global Herbs Antisuck address the cause.

High forage diets, chaff feeds are good whereas cereal feeds that a horse bolts down quickly are bad.

18th February 2011, 01:18 AM

I feed Red, two scoops of chaff, one scoop of pony nuts, plus his limestone flour and biotin. I also put either carrots or apples in as a treat. He also gets his hay, when they put it down in the barn.

He has started being silly when we first start to exercise him. The only change that I can see is that we have been told not to let the horses out on the grass, during the day, as the ground is soft. So maybe, as someone has pointed out, he is bored and frustrated, as he is used to being able to wonder in and out of the barn and play in the field.

When I was up there today, his chin is raw now. :(

18th February 2011, 08:29 AM
as smile and wave said, it could be stomach ulcers, horses often windsuck to relieve the pain of stomach ulcers. if a horse has really bad stomach ulcers (which it doesnt sound as though yours does as i think there would be more symptoms)then the ulcers can cause the horse to colic if they are around the entry and exist of the sotmach in particular, but as horses with really bad stomach ulcers windsuck a lot this is where the windsucking-colic link comes from. lots of forage will help, as this helps the horse to salivate. and having a high forage to concentrate ratio, which it sounds like you already do! Stomach ulcers could cause the ridden problems you descibe when you are first riding, as the stomach acid begins to slosh around in the tummy and over the ulcers. i have to say though this is a very pessimistic approach to it though,most likely your boy is a bit stressed about the changes to his routine, and windsucking is his way of dealing with the stress as once they do it, they do it more when they're stresses (like people smoking!) and being in more could cause the fizzy riodden problems when you first get on.
As others have said i would be trying some of the herbal solutions, to see if these work, or when his routine changes as the weather improves the problem may resolve itself, but if not it may be worth considering having him gastroscoped (camera up his nose and into his stomach) to check for ulcers. If they do this it is quite expensive, but you can claim for it on your insurence, who will also cover treatment if ulcers are found (syringes of gastro guard) and re-scoping to check if treatment worked.

Good Luck, and hopefully the hearbal or routine changes will sort him out, but just thought i would give you a bit more info in case you need it later down the line,

18th February 2011, 03:16 PM
yeah its not the actual windsucking that casues colic and is why people use colars becasue they think the act of inhaling the air will casue them to colic its more down to the actual problem which casues them to windsuck can also make them more likely to colic

18th February 2011, 07:57 PM
Ahhh! I didnt know about the colic bit. I just knew that windsucking can lead to ulcers, which is why I put the collar on him. :D Okies, I will speak to the lady on the yard, and make sure that he has more access to hay, whilst he is in. But fingers crossed, they will be allowed to roam free again, and the problems will go away.

Cheers guys. You have all been amazing help. :)


19th February 2011, 09:41 AM
no hunni, the windsucking doesnt cause ulcers. Horses that already have ulcers windsuck as filling the stomach with air helps to relieve the pain of the ulcers, which is why they windsuck.so windsucking dosn't cuase it, it is more of a symptom that their may be ulcers wich can cause colic. x

19th February 2011, 01:13 PM
Ahhhhhhhhhh. Right!! :-D

Okies, so chances are he's already got an ulcer then.

I know that he was broken in to pull carts when he was just 18 months old. :( And his previous owner, bought him and carried on riding him, until she realised just how young he was, then turned him away.

So, chances are, he was a very stressed out baby boy.

Okies, Ill definately chat to lady who runs the yard, and try and work it so that he has access to more hay, whilst they are all being kept off the grass.

Ive never had a horse who did this, and always thought that they learnt to do this as they were bored.


19th February 2011, 09:55 PM
My friends horse is a windsucker. When she first got him she put a collar on him. He still windsucked with that on so he no longer wears it. She has tried the global herbs supplement and ulcer calm and neither of them made the slightest bit of difference to him. He gets turned out for the day and has plenty of hay when he goes in for the night, we can't feed hay in the filed because it would cause too many fights between the horses. He windsucks whenever he feels the need to, which is quite alot as he even does itin the field but he is a healthy happy pony.

19th March 2011, 06:44 PM
Hey. :D

Bit of an update. We do hay the fields. There are two huge piles out there, so fighting is minimal.

I went to a table top sale, a few weeks ago now, and picked up a miracle collar, for FIVE POUNDS!! :D Excellent find. It fits and it does the trick. So happy days.