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post #11 of 18 Old 09-07-2012, 09:10 AM Thread Starter
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I finally got to watch the video posted above. It was very, very helpful. Thanks for posting it.
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post #12 of 18 Old 09-07-2012, 09:43 AM
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I'm interested Jaydee, how you worked out ulcers hadn't been a factor with your horses? Do you mean they didn't suffer any digestive upset, such as acidosis or only ulcers were ruled out?

My knowledge about windsucking(or cribbing, as terms often used interchangeably) is largely academic. I have kept my horses with (paddocked)windsuckers for years & have seen stabled or yarded horses that were inadequately/unhealthily fed develop the problem, but other than that, I only know from studies I read/hear. It seems that it is always physical in cause, not from boredom or such, as people used to think. It's also not 'catching' & other horses don't copy the behaviour.

One study on Australian racehorses some years ago showed a huge percentage(pretty sure it was over 90% but don't quote me) of horses had ulcers and that the vast majority of those were windsuckers, and that no racehorse included in the study that was a non-windsucker had ulcers. Other studies I've seen say that acidosis causes discomfort(heartburn) which can cause horses to windsuck and also if ongoing/frequent tends to cause ulcers, among other problems.
I never trust my own judgement on anything thats affecting a horses ability to gain weight so if I buy a horse in poor condition I always get a Vet check to rule out anything that might not be fixable. Ulcers will always cause some degree of discomfort that will result in a horse reacting to pressure around the areas that are going to be affected, fractiousness from pain. colicy attacks, anaemia from bleeding ulcers, digestive upsets etc. The last OTTB we bought that windsucked had a laparoscopy to rule them out as he did have fractious behaviour when we bought him - that was all down to handling issues and he mellowed very quickly when he had a normal life with us.
When my mare had them from medication she displayed all the outward signs though never began windsucking/cribbing. After treatment she was back to her normal relaxed happy self and soon regained condition
We bred 3 foals from the mare that windsucked and none of them ever did it or the other foals that ran in the same pasture. I bought a 6 month old foal - just weaned that began doing it as soon as the owners weaned him - by shutting him on his own in a small stable
Some horses handle life on a racing yard perfectly well due to temperament so the things that result from stress (windsucking/ulcers/weaving etc) are less likely to affect them so it wouldn't surprise me at all that a horse prone to ulcers will also windsuck though I'm not convinced that the two essentially have to go together or one causes the other
Windsucking becomes a habit so even when you remove all the stress factors and the horse is settled and relaxed they will still do it
It would be interesting to have some statistics as to when horses actually begin to do it
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post #13 of 18 Old 09-07-2012, 11:32 AM
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From my understanding, and like someone has already said, cribbing, wood chewing, and windsucking are all completely different and a lot of people confuse the three.

Cribbing is when a horse latches onto something and uses neck muscles to suck air into the stomach. Wood chewing is just as it sounds. Cribbing can cause damage to wood surfaces. Wind sucking occurs in mares. The vulvar lips fail to close properly while trotting or cantering and cause air to move in and out of the vagina and makes a sucking noise, hence the name. It causes irritation to the mare which causes them to not want to run fast. This can be solved by doing a caslick procedure which sutures up part of the vulva.
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post #14 of 18 Old 09-07-2012, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Bridgertrot View Post
From my understanding, and like someone has already said, cribbing, wood chewing, and windsucking are all completely different and a lot of people confuse the three.

Cribbing is when a horse latches onto something and uses neck muscles to suck air into the stomach. Wood chewing is just as it sounds. Cribbing can cause damage to wood surfaces. Wind sucking occurs in mares. The vulvar lips fail to close properly while trotting or cantering and cause air to move in and out of the vagina and makes a sucking noise, hence the name. It causes irritation to the mare which causes them to not want to run fast. This can be solved by doing a caslick procedure which sutures up part of the vulva.
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Not entirely true.. Yes, windsucking occurs in mares, that part is correct.

Windsucking is also a term used for a cribbing like behavior. That type of wind sucking is a form of cribbing but not entirely the same behavior, though very much alike. The difference in wind sucking and cribbing is that a horse wind sucking will arch it's neck and suck in air without having a grip on anything with it's mouth. Cribbing is when a horse bites something, arches it's neck, then sucks in air..The only difference in cribbing and wind sucking is whether or not the horse has a grip on a solid object. Wood chewing is a whole different deal, it's not cribbing or wind sucking.. The horse basically just chews the wood as though it were food, causing a lot of damage to any structure.. I've seen wood chewers bite trees if that was the only "wood" available to them.

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post #15 of 18 Old 09-07-2012, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Bridgertrot View Post
From my understanding, and like someone has already said, cribbing, wood chewing, and windsucking are all completely different and a lot of people confuse the three.

Cribbing is when a horse latches onto something and uses neck muscles to suck air into the stomach. Wood chewing is just as it sounds. Cribbing can cause damage to wood surfaces. Wind sucking occurs in mares. The vulvar lips fail to close properly while trotting or cantering and cause air to move in and out of the vagina and makes a sucking noise, hence the name. It causes irritation to the mare which causes them to not want to run fast. This can be solved by doing a caslick procedure which sutures up part of the vulva.
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Cribbing or crib biting with the related air swallowing can sometimes start as wood chewing which is why wood chewing is often called crib biting.
Windsucking is the part where they swallow air and then burp it back up, at one time the term windsucking applied only to horses that would do it without actually latching on to anything but I've never seen a horse that did this - though I dont doubt that they can - in the UK windsucking is now pretty much applied to any horse that sucks in air regardless of how they do it
The thing with mares sucking in air is a completely different thing.
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post #16 of 18 Old 09-07-2012, 12:40 PM
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The ulcer connection to cribbing is still a fairly new one and many people are resistant to this new info. I believe it is often hand in hand with cribbing (whatever you want to call it...). Cribbing creates an endorphin release that eases the pain of the ulcers and this becomes a "drug addiction" for many horses. The only way to really prove the ulcers is to scope them.

Yes, you will always have to keep a collar on the horse. Some are even able to crib unless the collar is so tight it almost throttles the horse.

I avoid most cribbers, but if the horse is talented enough (free might work for you!) it can be something I choose to overlook on rare occasions.
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post #17 of 18 Old 09-07-2012, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Allison Finch View Post
The ulcer connection to cribbing is still a fairly new one and many people are resistant to this new info. I believe it is often hand in hand with cribbing (whatever you want to call it...). Cribbing creates an endorphin release that eases the pain of the ulcers and this becomes a "drug addiction" for many horses. The only way to really prove the ulcers is to scope them.
That's a very good way to look at it Allison. Nikki is a cribber and none of the "products" on the market work for her. I've never really connected that it could be like a drug addiction for horses. I've always taken it just as a bad habit and I've never had problems with Nikki having ulcers as a result of the cribbing.

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post #18 of 18 Old 09-07-2012, 02:47 PM
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Thanks for clarification. I'm aware that wind sucking in mares is completely different. Seems odd to me that all these got stuck with the same/similar names even though they are completely different.
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