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RE: [RC] need info on possible link between hard water and tying up - McGann, Barb

I believe I was the original poster of that letter/article (although I couldn't find it just now - duh).  Anyway, would also love to see the vets comments.  Our water was MUCH harder than yours, but that might explain why we were having severe tie-ups and yours are minor! 
From where I see this, since your water is in the medium range (I/m not 100% sure exactly what the numbers should be), it might be possible to design a supplement program of magnesium and phosphorus to balance out any excess calcium in your water.  After we corrected the water problem here, we sent samples of our hay/grain, etc to Susan G and she designed us a supplement program to balance all these things out.  We have not had a tie-up since, and we have 5 horses going to rides from our place.
Not sure why you are saying softened water is not good...is there a problem with sodium in the water???? 
As far as the cost, don't know about you, but I know we spent literally thousands and thousands of $$$ on vet bills and wasted entry fees before we found this.
Barb McGann, AERC # 840
 -----Original Message-----
From: Sullivan [mailto:greymare@xxxxxxx]
Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2003 1:54 PM
To: ridecamp@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [RC] need info on possible link between hard water and tying up

I am hoping to get some imput as to any possible link between horses drinking hard water and being more prone to tie up.
I read an article in the ridecamp archives that explained a posters consistent problems with her  horses tying up, despite good conditioning and warmup, supplementing with Vit E se, etc.  They finally tested their water and found it was very hard, which means high in calcium. This might be my story also.....most of my mares, over the years, having minor problems with tie up...and one bad one which went to U.C Davis. Davis did not run a test for Se, but reccomended adding the supplement.
I finally had our water tested.  IT came up with a ph of 7.4, and a hardness of 14....which they said was in the medium range of hardness.  They also said the calcium was 14g/gal....or 240 ppm.  I am hoping perhaps a vet can comment on this. Anyone know if this degree of hardness is going to cause any problems?  Of course, at my age (47), I would personally thinking drinking water high in calcium is perhaps a good thing....
Problem would be doing anything about it; we have a softener at the house, but the horse water is way out at the barn. We could not give softened water (which takes out the calcium but leaves sodium), but would then need a reverse-osmosis filtration system ($1,000 to $2000), and again, it would be up at the house and we would have to run very long hoses back to the barn area.
Any thoughts or comments appreciated.  We have our own well.