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a question of well filters and horses' drinking patterns

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  • a question of well filters and horses' drinking patterns

    We get all our water from a 500 ft deep well and live in a part clay, sandy soil area. We were told the water passes through quartz which makes the hot water initially cloudy but which clears up immediately. Since we moved here in July 08 when a new filter was installed, we have changed out the well filter twice--we use a Brita filter in the house as well. The first time we replaced it with a sediment only filter which is what the previous owners used. This last time we decided to use a more expensive filter that supposedly improves taste as well. (The water has been tested and deemed perfectly safe for drinking)

    Here's my confusion: we change the filter based on the horses' drinking patterns in their stalls. When they lower their water intake, we change the filter. We already scrub buckets daily and bleach them every couple of days and find that wierdly, after we have bleached them and just refilled, not rinsed out any drops of bleach, they will drain their entire muck bucket of water.

    We decided to upgrade the filter to the more expensive one to see if that would improve their water intake like the bleach seems to. It hasn't. In fact they drank better with just the sediment filter. I don't want to fall into a false "cause and effect" scenerio when it might be other factors creating a "true/true and unrelated" situation. However, I don't want to discount the filters if they are indeed a factor in their water intake.

    What has been other's experience with well filters living in similar clay/sandy soil areas? Does one make a significant difference over another or is it horses' personal tastes?

  • #2
    Given that horses have been expected to drink from whatever water hole was in front of them since the dawn of time, I doubt filtering makes any difference. If the stink of bleach isn't enough to turn your horses off, I don't see how the taste of well water could make much difference one way or the other.

    I think horses by nature "tank up" every couple of days rather than drinking an consistent amount every day. You might just be hitting the bleach on the days they were fixing to tank up anyway.

    Since my horses seen happy to drink out the swamp or whatever snow-melt puddle is laying around, I for darn sure ain't gonna be spending money on water filters for them.


    • Original Poster

      Hmmmmmm...good point. Love your tag line btw. Very funny!

      Re the well filter. We must have a well filter regardless since we would get a fair amount of sediment in our drinking water without it. I hadn't thought about the horses not drinking consistently every day but they will often drink like crazy at a show with chlorinated city water but were very reluctant to drink much in Aiken where the water smelled funny even to me.

      I agree they should be less picky considering the water options living in the wild give them but having had my old guy colic from not drinking enough I guess I'm paranoid...thanks for the input


      • #4
        Your post confused me. You have only changed your filter twice since 08??. I change my filters monthly. Do you have a water softener also. I find that is the most helpful with my water.


        • #5
          If you have icky water, then I can see having a filter to solve the sediment problem, which is likely a separate problem from the horses having certain water they like better.

          Maybe you have some chlorine addicts?

          I have country well water, and some of the horses turn their noses up at city water until after it sets for a while (I guess the chlorine evaporates?).

          A little salt in the oldster's feed might make him a little less picky about his water. That kept my old guy alive for another five years or so after he first showed signs of not keeping up with his water intake.


          • #6
            I have read several incidental posts in various forums here where people indicated their horses *liked* a bit of bleach, horses that licked the wall or metal that had been washed with bleach, or buckets, such as yours, that were not cleaned out with water after bleaching.
            I'm not saying its good for them, but I've seen it a couple times here on Coth.