Understanding Windsucking in Horses

Comprehensive Guide on Windsucking in Horses: Understanding, Managing, and Treating Wind Sucking Behavior

Welcome to our blog post where we will be discussing a peculiar behaviour found in horses known as windsucking. It’s an issue that many horse owners have come across and may have left them scratching their heads. If you are curious about what windsucking means, its implications, possible treatment methods, and how it differentiates from crib biting, you have come to the right place. We will also be discussing some products that can help manage this behaviour. So, let’s dive right in.

What does windsuck mean in horses?

Windsucking, also known as aerophagia, is a compulsive behaviour seen in horses where the horse arches its neck, grips a solid object with its incisor teeth and sucks air into its oesophagus. This can be a fence, a stall door, a tree, or practically anything else the horse can latch onto.

Is it bad if a horse Windsucks?

While windsucking is not immediately harmful, it can potentially lead to health issues over time. Some possible complications include dental problems, weight loss, and even colic in severe cases. Furthermore, it's a destructive behavior that can cause damage to fences, stalls, and other structures that the horse may choose to windsuck on. As a horse owner, it’s important to keep an eye out for signs of windsucking and seek appropriate management solutions.

Can you cure a horse from windsucking?

Unfortunately, there's no definitive cure for windsucking. However, it can be managed to reduce its frequency and impact on the horse’s health and its surroundings. There are a variety of methods and products such as LINCOLN STOP CRIBBING LIQUID, LINCOLN CRIBBING STRAP, and SHIRES ANTI-CRIB COLLAR available to help control this behaviour.

What is the difference between crib biting and windsucking?

Crib biting and windsucking are often confused due to their similar appearance, but they are distinct behaviours. Crib biting involves the horse grabbing onto a fixed object with its teeth and then pulling back, often causing damage to the object and the horse's teeth. Windsucking, on the other hand, doesn't require a fixed object and is more about the horse sucking in air, though they may use a fixed object as a brace.

How do you treat Windsucking?

Windsucking can be managed through a variety of ways. For instance, increasing the amount of forage a horse has access to can keep them busy and reduce the time they have available to windsuck. You can also use products such as NAF CRIB STOP SPRAY and LINCOLN CRIB BITING PREVENTATIVE to discourage the behavior. Regular exercise and engagement can also play a part in reducing windsucking.

Does windsucking make horses high?

This is a common misconception about windsucking. It is theorized that horses may windsuck due to the endorphin release it might cause, but it doesn't make horses 'high' in the sense that humans might understand the term. The primary concern with windsucking is the potential for health problems, such as colic, weight loss, and dental issues.

What does windsucking look like?

A windsucking horse typically arches its neck, braces itself (often against a fixed object), and sucks in air with a distinctive, repetitive, gulping noise. Some horses may not need to brace against anything. It's a compulsive habit that can happen anytime but is most often seen after feeding.

Can horses eat with a Windsucking collar on?

Absolutely, horses can eat with a Windsucking collar on. These collars are designed to prevent windsucking by applying pressure to the throat latch area whenever the horse tries to arch its neck for windsucking, but they do not interfere with normal eating or drinking. Always ensure the collar is fitted correctly, to maintain your horse's comfort while effectively preventing the habit.

Is Windsucking contagious?

Windsucking is not contagious in the sense of an infectious disease, but it can be a learned behavior. If one horse in a herd starts windsucking, it's possible for others to pick up the behavior by observation. That's why it's essential to manage windsucking horses properly and isolate them if necessary to prevent the spread of the habit in a herd.


In conclusion, windsucking in horses is a complex behavior with a range of implications for the horse's health and wellbeing. It's important for horse owners and caregivers to understand this behavior in order to manage it effectively. Whether through the use of deterrent products like Lincoln Crib Biting Preventative or lifestyle changes, preventing and managing windsucking is crucial.

In some instances, investing in a comfortable Anti-Crib Collar or using products like the NAF Crib Stop Spray can provide effective solutions. It's also important to ensure your horse's diet includes everyday vitamins and supplements to promote overall wellbeing.

And remember, if you're out there riding with your equine friend, make sure you're decked out in comfortable jodhpurs, sturdy riding boots, and protective riding gloves. Don't forget to reward your horse with some delicious horse treats from time to time as well.

Understanding, patience, and consistent care are key in dealing with windsucking. With the right approach, you can help your horse live a healthier, happier life.