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Windsucking

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Shauney

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Does anyone know where I can purchase a Cribbing Collar for a Shetland? Also, any and all advice on windsucking would be appreciated. He is pastured outside 24/7 now, places his mouth on the wood fence (does not chew it often if rarely, and sucks in the air. He is only 2 1/2 and I would like to break this habit.

Thanks
 

Margo_C-T

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Hi, Shauney-

Odds are, you can't "break" the habit of cribbing(also known as windsucking)-unfortunately, it seems to be one of those things that they will NOT ever "give up"-there are theories nowadays about how the activity releases endorphins("feel good" substances, basically).

I have a mini gelding, now 8, who cribs. You CAN buy a weanling/pony-sized anti-cribbing collar made by Weaver, and it does work, though it has to be adjusted very snugly to do so, and you may think that your horse looks uncomfortable(which mine does, but he also eats and drinks completely as he should, grazes, etc.) I have had better results by altering his abode to minimize his opportunities to crib, though this can only work if you have a pen, etc., dedicated only to him-which I have-and I have no board fences, but metal panels, with an anti-climb mesh wire "lining". Truly, I decided not to worry about it-he has never had any medical problems. Sounds as if your colt is in a near-ideal "anti-crib" situation already; perhaps you could try giving him some toys-Jolly ball, a length of thick cotton rope, with no fraying, anything safe he can roll around/pick up and carry/shake, *might*help, simply by giving him something else to occupy his time....Best wishes!
 

Shauney

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Thank you Margo,

The paddock he is in is pagewire fencing, with electric running around. I have electric up at the gates as well, but he will lean under or over to suck. Thank you for the correction. I truly thought that cribbing was the actual chewing of the wood, which he doesn't do. I will see if some toys will work. He is very playful.

Will sucking in air not cause gut problems?
 

Getitia

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I have to agree with Margo. Years ago, we boarded our Arabian gelding at a farm and he was stalled beside a windsucker - unfortunately one of the worst aspects of this habit is that horses will learn the habit from other horses and our Arabian at age 9 picked up the habit from his stall companion and it is an impossible habit to break - he would even stand out in the pasture and try to find anything to grab onto- fence post, tree branch, anything - even with a full pasture full of grass.

Make sure that when you stall him, you stall him away from others as if they are stalled beside him, they can also pick up the habit. We did not know this at the time our gelding was stabled, otherwise, we would have insisted he be stalled far, far away from the other gelding.

Our gelding lived to be 29 and never had any colic or digestive problems - although the horse he learned the habit from, had some digestive issues - may or may not be related. We researched every article and publication known and talked to individuals in hopes we could find something to try to eliminate the habit - to no avail.

The collar or a muzzle will help, but will not ever cure the vice. Good luck.
 

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