Thursday, June 3, 2010

Windsucking or crib biting


I have had my first windsucker agist with us. I have sat and studied the horse and feel confident that he sucks because it is habitual rather than trying to relieve acid reflux at this stage.

He has had the condition for many years, and though I do not dispute that he may have developed the habit as a way to relive discomfort, I am confident that he is not experiencing any discomfort now.

He is a healty 10 yr old Arab gelding, sharing 8 acres with 3 other quiet horses. He has no stressful events in his life, and eats a healthy grassy/lucerne hay every morning and a mash of 1/2 scoop lucerne chaff 1/2 scoop oaten chaff 1/4 scoop copra, 1/4 scoop pellets with minerals (phosmix) and DCP+CC twice a week. He is is good condition, bright eyed and well balanced.
He does not get exercised unfortunately, but seems healthy.

I discourage the sucking when ever I am there, but as soon as my back is turned he is making advances on a handy object to suck on, almost as though it is a game. It almost feels as though he is perhaps seeking attention by doing it?

His front teeth are a little worn down from it.

It is very apparent that the other horses are not likely to copy him. I think it is a leaned behaviour, a nervous habit that he is now unable to stop.

I would love to hear your experiences of this habit....please write your comments, thank you.

Useful information will be added to the health page on

Big Head or Oxalate Poisoning in Horses

I am interested in the subject of Big Head on the Sunshine Coast. I have found a mix of 2 parts DCP to 1 part Calcium Carbonate suits the area I am located in for the prevention of big head for horses grazing pastures containing sub tropical species of grasses that cause oxalate poisoning.
If anyone has any other information on treatment, correct balance of Ca to Phosphorus ratio, feeds affecting the balance, like bran, pollard, rice bran which are high in Phosphorus, lucerne which is high in calcium, and how to calculate rations when feeding with these products I would be grateful.

I plan to compile all the information I source on my health page

Thanks for your contributions......Niki