Reply To: Chewing down the barn!

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Boredom is a possibility, especially in young horses that aren’t having their minds engaged by daily work and exercise. Digestion problems can result from pent up energy, creating upset stomachs and special needs for digestive or cribbing supplements. Horses need to be able to move around. Minerals, enzymes and pro-bios support proper digestion. Watch out for yeast in digestive supplement products. Most digestive supplements have yeast, and yeast makes bread rise–and causes gas. This could result in colic, especially if the horse already has an upset stomach. If your horse goes beyond just chewing, and starts to windsuck, it means that she is relieving pain in her stomach. This behavior is not sucking in air but burping–relieving the pressures. (reference to a Pat Parelli website article). Knowing this can help save your horse from getting colic. Do not use an anti-cribbing device. This is torture for the horse because they can’t relieve the gas, and it is painful.

Possibilities? Cribbing supplements (SmartPak apparently doesn’t have these. I searched.). I buy human grade wide-spectrum acidophilus supplements and human grade enzymes for my “windsucking” (cribbing) horse (about 6 capsules of each). I put it in applesauce and give it in orally in a dosing syringe. Result? He cribs about 1/4 of what he did before. If I give him a supplement with yeast, he goes back to being gassy and cribbing a lot. (This includes SmartPak products.) Make sure your horse gets plenty of minerals of all kinds. Free choice is best.