I used the collars on Alli but found them inneffective- she just bit down harder and harder trying to do it. If its caused by stomach ulcers it is also increasing their stress levels and therefore increasing the ulcers so the desire to windsuck becomes more prominent. Its like if you have stomach pains and the only way to reduce the pain is to periodically perform an action, and then for some reason you couldn't, the pain would feel like it has increased due to you being unable to soothe it, and you would begin stressing over it. Also once the option to do it again is presented, you would want to do it like a herroin addict!
The most effective way to reduce, not cure, it is to find out if ulcers are the underlieing cause, treat the ulcers and then remove the option to do it. Remove cause- reduce desire to- reduce oppertunities to do it.
Stomach ulcers form because the horses stomach constantly secretes acid and if the horse is not eating nearly constantly or is under stress and not eating, it does not chew to produce saliva to neutralise the acid. The pH gets lower and causes ulcers to form. Also, if the horses stomach gets too full from large meals, the acid comes into contact with the upper part of the stomach wich has very little protection agaist acidic attack (considering the fact the stomach is an acidic environment) because it is only the lower part of the stomach that is designed to secrete and hold acid.
Starchy and sugary feeds also increase acidity because they encourage the wrong bacterial growth wich produce an acidic environment.
Alfalfa has been shown to absorb stomach acid, mainly due to the high calcium content, and reducing stomach acidity reduces the severity of the ulcers. There are some *very* expensive drugs out there like omeprozole that actually stop the acid being secreted so the stomach wall can heal its self. A 2 week course costs around £250 ($300ish?) and most vets would want to perscribe a 3-4 week course.
I couldn't afford the omeprozole so got researching and it turns out liquorice root has similar properties so it is perhaphs an idea to try giving the horse liquorice (don't know if it has any banned substances for showing in it though). Soaking it speeds up the absorbtion. Also it could be an idea to give a pre and pro biotic suplement to encourage the 'good' bacteria to thrive and bring stomach conditions back to normal. Herbs like aloe vera, nettle and pepermint have soothing properties and help the repair of membranes like lips and stomach lining.
As much turnout as possible and as low-stress routein as possible will also help.
If you (or anyone else!) have any more questions, feel free to contact me privatly- I have a wealth of knowledge about windsucking/cribbing now!!
We lose ourselves in the things we love, we find ourselves there too ~Kristen Martz