Weird habit or wind sucking? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 09-14-2012, 10:25 AM Thread Starter
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Weird habit or wind sucking?

I posted this in a thread already about wind sucking but didn't get many responses.

Champ, 5 year old OTTB, just came off the track in June. He does this while eating, when he's bored, when being brushed, and standing with tack on - no rider. He won't do it if all my attention is focused on him or when I'm riding. You can see in the video he starts off stretching out to me, but when I don't reach out to him to give him attention he starts doing it. He does draw in some air, but it's not big gulps. He doesn't crib by hooking his teeth over wood, and he doesn't wind suck with his neck arched like a horse normally would. He did have very bad teeth reported in June from the barn who bought him off the track, but according to his paperwork everything was fixed (a ton of sharp points and hooks) and the vet here says he can't find anything wrong after a dental exam, and that he had never seen a horse with this particular habit.


The link to the video will have to be copy/pasted into your browser.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/62501101@N04/7984121691/
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post #2 of 13 Old 09-14-2012, 10:30 AM
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It doesn't look like wind sucking to me. I think it's just something he does. Horses all have little quirks. His is just a little peculiar.
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post #3 of 13 Old 09-14-2012, 10:34 AM Thread Starter
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My concern is that he will end up with stomach issues (if he doesn't already have them) or a case of colic. He was a little colicky a few days ago, nothing major, mineral oil and walking got him over it. I'm worried he will gas colic from the air he is sucking in. I had thought about trying a cribbing collar, but I'm not sure if it would be effective since he doesn't arch his neck.
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post #4 of 13 Old 09-14-2012, 10:41 AM
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That is exactly what my OTTB did, kind if a gulp, when eating, or waiting for his feed. Very often when I first got him, but it almost went away after about a month. I guess he learned there was no need to get excited and nervous no more, always hay, low or zero stress, lots of out time.
It stopped completely once he went in with the herd.
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post #5 of 13 Old 09-14-2012, 12:10 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deserthorsewoman View Post
That is exactly what my OTTB did, kind if a gulp, when eating, or waiting for his feed. Very often when I first got him, but it almost went away after about a month. I guess he learned there was no need to get excited and nervous no more, always hay, low or zero stress, lots of out time.
It stopped completely once he went in with the herd.

He's out 24/7 with the only horse that won't pick on him. The poor guy never got a chance to relax, off track in June then to a fox hunting facility until we got him. They already had him jumping 2' courses. He's on a low starch low sugar feed that consists of 4 small feedings a day. The only hay we have here is orchard :/ but it's good quality at least.
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post #6 of 13 Old 09-14-2012, 12:33 PM
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To me it looks like he's playing with his tongue. TB's can pick up all sorts of strange habits at the track. Plus, many are really smart and they like to keep active. He may just need to get used to his new lifestyle. A lot of times they may lose them after they are used to the new routine of a pleasure horse. Some are so used to their daily routine, they get quirky about new routines. If your vet didn't see anything troublesome with him, I would just see if stops after a while. Have you talked to your vet about your colic concerns yet? If you haven't just call and tell he/she your concerns. Your vet might want to come out to get a more thorough look at him. Good luck.
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post #7 of 13 Old 09-14-2012, 01:44 PM
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How I wish I could get orchard for an affordable price here...we have alfalfa and oat hay
You might want to look into a slowfeeder haynet for him. After he realizes that he always has hay available with the net, he might be less anxious and eventually stop sucking wind. It took my two horses about 2 weeks to self-regulate their hay intake. Users if the net say that overweight horses lose weight, and skinny ones gain. It's way more natural than giving meals, no matter how frequent.
I also noticed when I come with their "grain", they just look.....not a beep anymore. They eat it nice and slow and then come and help me clean the paddock. Before it was an endless "get away, this is my hay".....
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post #8 of 13 Old 09-14-2012, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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He has hay out all the time. He's currently in a smaller paddock with minimal grass with a horse that has an abscess while he is figuring out how exactly to be a horse lol. He's learned from the other horse that he can eat when he pleases. They'll hang out in the barn awhile, munch hay awhile, nibble on the short grass, stare at the neighbors..
He was on some really ramped up feed before he came. Super calories and proteins and sugars. If this is just an anxiety thing I'm hoping that he will do it less as he's coming down to his low starch low sugar feed.
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post #9 of 13 Old 09-14-2012, 01:53 PM
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That might help. He needs time to re-learn life basically
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post #10 of 13 Old 09-14-2012, 01:56 PM Thread Starter
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Very much so! He was clueless about being out with other horses (which is why he's only with one that can't chase him around lol), has no idea what personal space is, or what backing up is, or what walking through mud is after it rains, or what rain is.. He has so many little cuts and bumps on him now from learning the hard way.
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