Post Office Box Victor Harbor
Wind Sucking is
a vice and it is also a legal trigger for a Veterinary Surgeon to reject a
horse during an inspection for sale.
The wind sucker
is often under weight and I have even seen them so bad that they have died
of mal nutrition because of their incessant desire to be carrying on their
becomes a drug addiction with horses. They are addicts. Each time they
suck and gulp air they receive a hit of
endorphins which is similar to a drug, hence it's addiction.
The habit is
generally caused by boredom in the stables environment and/or copying
other horses that do it. Such boredom can be increased by the lack of
opportunity for the horse to graze, which they do for around 16 hours in
their paddock environment. The feeding of lot's of hay keeps horses
occupied whereas in the Racing Industry where small hard feeds are fed,
the chances of boredom and eventual wind sucking is drastically increased
and in real life this is where I meet most of them.
To carry out
this nasty habit, they usually need to be able to grab on to a door, log, wooden
rail or whatever else with their front teeth and then to gulp air down
into their gut. Some do not however.
a horse, you should take a look at it's front teeth to see if they have
any unusual wear from wind sucking. Their front teeth gradually get worn
down on an angle because of the horse grabbing on to wooden rails, tree
stumps, doors or whatever else they can find to achieve their addiction. I
have even seen a horse wind suck on it's own front leg.
So you own one
and what do you do to manage it? They rarely give it up. We have found
that using electric fencing to the point where the horse cannot get hold
of an object with it's teeth, does stop them in the stable environment. We
paint any other target points with creosote and are ever vigilant. If we
see a new location being invented by the horse, we will immediately paint
It does not pay
to allow a wind sucker to be in the company of your other good horses,
unless it cannot do it. The Saddlery Shops sell a collar that is called
either a 'wind sucking collar' or a 'Miracle Collar' as they are sometimes
called. These have some success but not on all horses so do not just fit one and
not observe your horse after. It works on the basis of stopping the
esophagus from radically expanding so the horse cannot get the large
volume of air down the throat at once.
investigation suggested that the horse does not take the air down into
either it's lungs or the gut. It found that the air is merely taken into
the mouth and throat area.
Never buy a
Wind Sucker and always ask the question and check the incisor teeth for
There have been
recent studies in Britain which tend to point toward the problem being
digestion related and a product has been manufactured by Feedmark.com
Vets' in Australia link stomach ulcers with the problem. There is a wormer
for the elimination of ulcers.
Lately, I have
been observing this product in use on a bad wind sucker here.
This Product can mal function and continually electric shock Horses.
I was referred to a debate on the Tashorse Forum about
windsucking and a poster had this to say.
Nearly every book you read will tell you that wind
sucking is a behavioural problem that no one has been
able to cure; and certain mythologies abound - such as
that if there is one wind sucker in the stable it will
'teach' its habit to the other stable residents. "The
habit is generally caused by boredom in the stables
environment and/or copying other horses that do it."
From Controlling The Wind Sucker by John O'Leary,
Horseman © 2003.
This particular myth has been debunked in recent years.
"While it is often said that other horses will learn a
stereotypy such as Cribbing from a horse performing the
behavior, Mills said evidence for this is at best poor
and in general absent.
To date most of the research into this new area has been
conducted in the UK. Researchers suspected that horses
were Cribbing to try and relieve high stomach acid
levels caused by the feeding of high concentrate feeds
(oats, barley and other grains). At pasture and in the
wild horses spend around 16 hours a day foraging for
food, often of a high fibre, low concentrate type.. The
result is that their digestive tract is "trickle fed"
and constantly processing food as it passes through the
gut. When confined indoors, or even in a yard, and
reliant on their keepers for their source of feed, the
stomach of the horse goes empty for long periods of time
- much longer than it was actually designed to do. To
add to this, they are then feed high concentrate feeds.
In Recent Advances in the Treatment of Equine
Stereotypic Behaviour Daniel Mills says "Both McGreevy
and colleagues (1995a) and Redbo and colleagues (1998)
have also reported that Cribbing
appears to be
associated with the feeding of concentrates, which
supports the observation of Fitzwygram (1911) who
reported that the condition "most commonly . arises from
some form of acidity .of the stomach"." Research
conducted at Auburn University's Department Of Animal
Sciences (Alabama, USA) supports this. "Results clearly
indicate that cribbers have a more acidic gastric
environment than normal horses supporting the theory
that gastrointestinal irritation
may be a
motivating cause for Cribbing."
So as always, the Horsemen know
what the Scientists don't.
Being the analitical type and
always interested in what the horses have to say rather
than reading books or Forums, I recommended the owner
buy the gadget that you see around the neck of this bad
windsucker. Now this is the horse that features in one
of my latest videos, 'Wind sucking School'
I meet many Foals that wind suck
My Collar fixed this Mare.
I and 15 other people have been
observing the horse for a week now, since he has had his
new 'O'Leary Wind Sucking collar' and he has stopped wind sucking. The thing
that interests me however is the question of whether the
horse may be in fact penalized and put in further pain
should the assertions above be fact. Prior to a week
ago, this horse was a depressed, anti social type who
never interacted with other horses in the paddock.
Rather than being in more pain or any pain, he has a new
attitude on life, is happy and is suddenly joining in
the fun and games of the day paddock, like a normal
horse, not standing around like a zombie. So where the
Scientists always use the words
be', I can tell you that this particular horse
in pain and 'is'
Whether their research is correct
or not, I don't know but this particular horse has
proven the worth of that collar and without any
exhibited detrimental affects. Only positive ones.
GO LOOK AT
THIS VIDEO. WIND SUCKING SCHOOL
I know two
things for sure. No human is certain and horses can't talk. What a shame.
So rather than get
paralysis of the analysis, I went about being pro-active.
THE TEETH OF THE WIND SUCKER
over 4,000 Sold.
Go here to buy it.
First off, let me send my warmest wishes to Mrs HP, what a
trooper! Hopefully she is back home soon and on the steady
path to recovery!
I just wanted to send you an email thanking you for the
WONDERFUL windsuck collar. I have tried everything to keep
weight on my 10 yr old Tb (of course you already knew the
breed, didn’t you :p ), and winter especially has been tough
on him. He just wouldn’t eat! Sucking on his posts was much
more important. Prior to your collar we had tried the
regular metal ones (he worked out how to keep doing it and
broke one clean in half), the miracle collar, which left
bare, raw patches on him, sprays, electricity (he’d just
find something else) and even spreading his own manure on
top of the posts! Nothing worked, but I was scared to try
the shock collars as he is kept in a pasture, and I had
horrible images of him being zapped for hours if it
His vet that first treated him post-racing injury (5 yrs
ago) told me of this amazing collar he had gotten from an
‘old bush horseman’, which was more like a dog collar, had 2
buckles and was GUARANTEED to work. He told me any saddler
could make one. Well, having never seen one myself, I tried
several good saddlers, but they all recommended the miracle
collar... So you can imagine my excitement to find them on
My boy has been wearing it now basically 24/7, it only comes
off for grooming/riding etc, and has been through 1 full
winter. He came through winter looking amazing! Excellent
weight, on nothing other than constant access to grass hay,
poor pasture and hard feeds only after work. He is now the
best he has looked in 5 years, but is eating the least I
have ever fed him in that time! This is also the first colic
free winter we have had J Best of all, there are no sores or
bare patches, the leather is still soft (even after LOTS of
mud rolls), and I can foresee many good years of use!
I can’t thank you enough for making my horse a joy to have,
instead of a constant heartache, and I’d recommend these
collars to anyone!
Sarah & Master Chief
That is fantastic. Thanks for the feed back and if I may I
will put it on the page where I sell them. Regards and
Carrot to Master Chief :)
" Hi John,
Just wanted to send you some feedback on the wind sucking
collar I bought from you.
Caesar is a 16.3hh 14 Y/O OTTTB that I brought home this
time last year; wonderful nature but as a result of a racing
career, was a chronic windsucker.
I was using one of those typical collars that you can pick
up from any old saddlery which was more like an ornament
than a preventative for his problem; basically it did
nothing and in no time at all my fences were a mess.
Sucking was the first and last thing on C’s mind - if he was
stressed he would suck, if he was waiting for his dinner he
would suck, if he was in between munching hay, he would
suck. It was a real mental problem for him that had
manifested into a physiological behavior, and it drove us
I read about your new collar on your website, and the rest
Caesar has been wearing his collar for about a year now; it
only took two (2) or three (3) attempts to suck with the
collar on before he gave up and walked away; sucking is
impossible with this collar, it stopped immediately.
The transformation over the past year has been amazing;
Caesar has gone from a horse whose only interest was to suck
(and as a result withdrawn from the herd and us) to a horse
that has a new lease on life. He now initiates play with the
youngsters and seeks out people for a scratch and a carrot
as opposed to latching onto something/anything and sucking.
The collar itself has stood up to it all; wind, rain, heat
etc.. It’s a beautiful piece of work that will last a
Anyone that owns a windsucker should have this collar.
Pic to follow; I’ll take some happy snaps tonight!
Katie is absolutely THRILLED with the windsucking collar
your brother invented. It is the only one on earth that we
know that stops his windsucking!!! He doesn't even try
windsucking when it is on as it seems to stop the air
completely. The "Miracle collar" (photos attached) worked
for a while but he could always suck the slightest bit of
air in and he would always keep trying. In the end he worked
out how to suck air in quite successfully. Your collar,
however, just works! We're finding it rubs him less as well
(it keeps his bridle path trimmed, but that's about it!)
HorsePower Equine <email@example.com>
We spoke a few weeks ago About the windsucking collars i purchased from
you for a thoroughbred mare and her foal. Here is proof that they both
enjoy it as a family activity.
Hell Beau, I hope
that is not my windsucking collar on her????
No dont worry that photo was taken
while your collar was in the post. It is an "id" tag on her neck.. She
attempted to windsuck within ten minutes with the collar but did not
succeed.The collar was a success. I weaned her foal last week and did
not see the foal windsucking but i guess she was to caught up with
losing her mother and other horses nearby. I was fencing yesterday and
she was windsucking quite well by herself. I bought two collars i think
the collar might just be small enough to fit her. I will find out soon
I am going to now get Foal one designed Beau. You know, all the Experts
say that they can't copy each other. I was ridiculed on the Tas Horse
Forum Years ago for suggesting it. "I wonder if they thought he had a
Clue?" :) Well done for your attention to detail. Regards