Windsucking in Horses

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Have you ever seen a horse with its neck arched and its tongue sticking outward? Chances are, it was exhibiting an activity known as “windsucking”. It’s a behavior that can be very bothersome for both the horse and its owner. 

Not only does this repetitive behavior take away from your time with your beloved pet, but it can also lead to other health issues like weight loss, dental problems, and digestive complications. 

In this blog post, we’ll discuss why windsucking occurs in horses, how to identify when it happens, and what you can do to help manage or even stop the behavior altogether. Understanding more about windsucking will bring newfound peace of mind knowing that you’re doing all that you can for your four-legged friend!

What are the signs of Windsucking in horses?

If you’re worried your horse might be windsucking, look out for some common signs. It’s generally quite easy to spot with a trained eye, although if you’re new to the game it can be hard to know what behavior is normal and what isn’t! 

Windsucking usually involves sucking in the stomach muscles with deep and frequent swallows accompanied by grunting noises. It most often happens when the horse is left alone and increases when the horse is feeling anxious or frustrated. 

There are also a few physical symptoms to look out for such as something known as pneumo-nasal groove due to long-term compressive forces on the facial soft tissues around the nostrils. 

Other signs include reddened and sensitive skin on the throatlatch from repetitive suction and occasionally even scrapes on teeth from unnaturally large objects being swallowed!

Is windsucking hereditary in horses?

Wind sucking is a bad habit that many horses have and it can be especially difficult to break this behavior. The main question horse owners ask when their horse develops windsucking is if it’s hereditary since the behavior seems to manifest so quickly. 

It’s understandable why horse owners think this– often the behavior displays fairly suddenly and it’s widespread among horse populations. While there is some evidence that certain genetic elements may play a role in whether or not a certain horse will windsuck, experts say that other environmental factors are usually more important. 

Nutrition, kind of management, riding, and any stress-inducing situations could be some of these other potential contributors to windsucking. Either way, it remains an issue for many equestrians, and figuring out the trigger behind this troublesome habit can help the situation overall.

How do you stop a horse from windsucking?

If you have a horse that windsucks, you may be wondering how to stop it. It’s important to address the problem early on so it doesn’t develop into an established habit. 

The first step is to identify why your horse is windsucking in the first place – it could be due to boredom, lack of exercise, or stress. 

Once you understand the root cause, you can begin to take steps to remedy the problem: increasing your horse’s activity level and providing companionship when possible often helps alleviate boredom; ensuring enough turnout time and avoiding overworking your horse can help reduce stress; and making sure your horse receives sufficient food can prevent them from “comfort eating” caused by anxiety. 

With effort and dedication, it is possible for horses who windsuck to learn colic-free habits and form good grazing practices — ultimately creating a happier, healthier lifestyle for everyone involved.

Why do some horses windsuck?

Horses are sociable, intelligent creatures that benefit from companionship and a stimulating environment. Unfortunately, sometimes their living conditions don’t provide them with these requirements and they end up resorting to habits such as windsucking. 

This is when they suck air in and out of their lungs while forming an arch with the neck. It is caused by boredom, stress, or doing too much repetitive work. 

Therefore, owners need to ensure their horse is getting plenty of variety in its daily activity as well as having access to other horses if possible. Taking note of any changes in behavior can also help diagnose this problem earlier and hopefully prevent it from occurring in the first place.

What does it mean if a horse Windsucks?

Wind sucking is a behavior seen in horses that can be pretty concerning for horse owners. It’s essentially where the horse sucks in the air while holding the back of the neck against a fence or other immovable object. 

This behavior usually begins out of boredom, or due to painful dental issues that make it difficult to eat comfortably. These cases of wind-sucking can develop into more serious and potentially damaging behaviors if left untreated. 

If you see your horse exhibiting this behavior, it’s important to consult a veterinarian who can help rule out any underlying conditions and provide advice on how best to manage similar behaviors going forward.

Can you cure a horse from windsucking?

Windsucking, the compulsive self-sucking behavior in horses that can cause strains on their respiratory system, is something many horse owners want to address. 

While there’s not a same-day “cure” for this affliction, there are some behavioral and environmental management techniques that can be employed to reduce or eliminate this behavior. 

For instance, providing groomed pastures with enough physical and mental stimulation from engaging activities has been seen to help mitigate windsucking. Another important aspect is eliminating access to objects that may be a stimulus for the behavior such as fences or walls. 

If these methods fail, it might be necessary for a veterinarian to recommend an alternate course of action, such as using aversion treatments or administering drugs to combat the symptoms. While windsucking may seem daunting at first, employing different strategies can help you address it effectively.

Is it bad if a horse Windsucks?

Wind sucking in horses can be a concerning habit. Not only can it lead to colic, weight loss, and digestive upset, but it can also lead to more serious problems with their teeth as well. 

Over time, the constant sucking motion grinds down the horse’s teeth and creates changes like sharp edges that destroy the valves of their stomachs. Plus, new lines appear on the front teeth that create further changes in the way they chew food. 

That’s why regular dental check-ups are essential to mitigate these potential issues – if you notice your horse regularly windsucking then make sure to contact your veterinarian for advice about how best to manage it.

Does windsucking cause colic?

Wind sucking is a common issue in horses and can be quite concerning to owners. It’s a behavior that some horses appear to have an addiction to, similar to cribbing. 

Wind sucking involves the horse making an in-and-out movement while gripping onto an object or fence with its head up, resulting in a build-up of air in the stomach. While it’s not clear why some horses do this, speculation suggests it may be related to boredom or attempts at calming themselves down. 

Although windsucking doesn’t cause colic directly, many believe that the indentation it causes on the stomach walls can lead to physical issues like ulcers and distress in the digestive tract, which can lead to secondary colic problems. 

As such, it is important for any horse owner who notices their mount habitually wind-sucking to take steps to address the behavior proactively.

What herbs help windsucking horses?

If your horse has a wind-sucking problem, then you’re likely becoming increasingly frustrated. Fortunately, there are a variety of herbs that can help put your horse more at ease and break this potentially harmful habit. 

Valerian root works to reduce anxiety while ginger helps to quash the desire to suck in the air altogether. Other viable options include citrus seed extract, which is known to have calming properties, and skullcap, which has been used as an herbal “sedative” for horses when they experience tension or stress. 

Still can’t get your horse’s wind-sucking under control? Providing plenty of turnout time might help to keep them engaged and distracted from the behavior. 

With these herbal remedies and additional lifestyle changes, you should be able to alleviate your horse’s wind-sucking sooner rather than later.

Can horses windsuck without biting?

While it’s true that horses can windsuck without biting, it is important to be aware of the warning signs and health risks associated with this behavior. Windsucking occurs when a horse rhythmically sucks air in and out of their lungs without making contact with anything else. 

This can be a severe problem for equestrians as horses that wind suck are prone to colic, which can lead to dangerous health issues or even death. It’s best to take preventative measures before the problem gets too severe by taking note of any strange behavior your horse may exhibit, such as a noticeably increased need for water or an unwillingness to move. 

Keeping an eye on your horse’s diet, activity level, and overall wellness is also beneficial in avoiding possible disasters down the line.

What are the side effects of Windsucking?

Windsucking is a dangerous habit amongst horses, and unfortunately, can lead to many unpleasant side effects. For one, incessant Windsucking can cause dental problems, such as an overbite or an incorrect bit fit due to the horse pushing its head forward when trying to take in air. 

The horse may also become resistant to the bit due to discomfort caused by the Windsucking. Muscular conditions can occur too; the constant contraction of muscles when Windsucking can lead to more pronounced neck and shoulder development than normal. 

Over time this can cause tension and other skeletal issues that are expensive and difficult for professionals to correct. 

As if these weren’t enough, there are behavioral issues as well; horses who have developed a habit of Windsucking may be nervous or stressed around new people or situations which can impact their relationship with humans. 

All in all, it’s best to catch any early signs of Windsucking and help the horse out of it before further problems arise.

To Sum it up

Windsucking in horses can be a challenging issue to tackle as a horse owner, but there are solutions! From changes to your horse’s environment or lifestyle to exploring other treatments such as herbal supplements, it is important to take action when windsucking behavior begins. 

Always consider the welfare of your horse, and work with a qualified veterinarian and trainer if needed. Remember that though this issue may be frustrating, there are ways to help your horse overcome it. 

With patience and dedication, you can get your horse back on track to achieving all of its best potential! Thank you for reading and have a wonderful day!

Matthew Flor

Matthew Flor

Hi, y’all! My name is Matthew Flor, and I’m from Ocala, Florida.
I’m a horse enthusiast, and one of my favorite breeds is the Shire horse.
In this blog, I’ll be sharing information about these amazing animals – everything from their history to their unique characteristics.

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