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Windsucking Mare

16 August 2011 No Comment

We asked horse training expert Cheyanne West. More about Cheyanne

Question
From: Terry

Hi Cheyanne I would be grateful if you could give me some advice about my mare Seren. I have had her for about a year. I don’t have any details of her history before I got her but she came with some problems and we have made good progress together. However she windsucks and I am at a loss as to the best way to help her.

I have read that homeopathy has been beneficial in some cases, and as I have used some remedies for myself I feel that I would like to explore the options for my horse.

She is a Welsh Cob aged 9. She lives out in about 40 acres of mixed fields and woods with about 20 other horses/ponies of mixed breed and sex. When I got her she was a very nervous horse, difficult to catch, hard work for the farrier and with lots of “dont touch” places. Also her stools were very loose. She was also the bottom of the field ‘peck order’. Now although she isn’t a bold horse she is not a nervous one either. She has moved up about 4 places in the ‘peck order’ too. She comes without being called and I rarely have to use a halter to take her to the pens. The farrier can do her fronts without her being held or tied. Her stools are pretty normal and she doesn’t have any “dont touch” places. Though she is a bit sensitive about her ears and her belly. From my observations the weather does not seem to make any difference to her windsucking.

Food does make a difference and particularly hard feed like carrots. If you wanted to see her windsuck then all you need to do is give her a carrot in the proximity of a fence and off she goes. She does spend a lot of time doing it without the introduction of the feed. I just feel that the feed does aggravate it.

Watching her as she cribs she does seem to bring small pieces of food back on to the post or rail before licking it up. This does not have the odor of part digested food though.

I hope I have given you enough info that you might have some ideas to perhaps point me in the right direction.

Yours hopefully
Terry

Answer
Dear Terry, First off I wish all of the questions asked offered “the attention to details” that yours offers. Since you have some experience with homeopathy, might I suggest you offer a dose of Arsenicum 30c after she has eaten a carrot, to see if that helps. (if it does you may have to drop down to a lower potency over a longer period of time to correct the situation.).

Arsenicum, features a couple of the symptoms you mentioned. Particularly the anxiety after eating.

My sense is that she may need some acadophilus in her system, to aid in digestion. This will help build up the good bacteria she needs in her stomach. This can be purchased through a veterinarian, though I have used the capsule form for humans from a health food store. Pulling the capsules apart and putting in on their grain one time per day for up to three days or so. Digestive enzymes can be purchased in a herbal combination, however it is best that she produce her own if possible so she does not become dependant on an external source of enzymes for digestion.

Please keep me posted, I’ll be happy to help you through this process.

Cheyanne West C-Hom.

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