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Learn about laminitis prevention

Landrum business hosting seminar on horse condition Thursday

LANDRUM — With spring coming, laminitis often looms large across horse pastures throughout the Foothills.

This severe and permanent lameness is the subject of two seminars this week.

On Thursday, the Hay Rack in Landrum is teaming up with the Clemson Cooperative Extension Service to present a workshop about preventing laminitis and other metabolic diseases in horses. Speakers for the workshop will include Clemson Extension Agent and Equine Extension Coordinator Cassie Wycoff, Clemson Area Livestock and Forages Agent Christopher LeMaster, and other equine nutritionists.

“This will cover the danger of each of the individual type grasses that can be found in pastures,” said Don Williams, owner of the Hay Rack. “They will also talk about soil samples.”

Laminitis is a painful inflammatory condition of the tissues (laminae) that bond the hoof wall to the pedal (coffin) bone in the horse’s hoof. It can affect any horse, of any age or sex, at any time of the year.

One of the more commonly known causes of laminitis is carbohydrate and/or sugar overload, often caused by the horse being allowed too much fresh grass in the spring or fall. Laminitis is extremely painful and often results in permanent lameness.

Thursday’s program will include the effect of grazing pasture grasses, ration balancing to reduce non-structural carbohydrate intake and determining nutrient and sugar content of the diet through chemical analysis. In addition, the speakers will discuss the complexities involved with feeding and managing the metabolic disease-prone horse.

Williams said they are planning to partner with the Clemson Extension Service for other programs in the future.

“We typically have four to five programs a year,” he said.

In addition to the program at the Hay Rack, Foothills Equestrian Nature Center is hosting a laminitis and hoof health seminar at 6:30 p.m. Feb. 21. Speakers will include Bibi Freer, DVM of Freer Equine. and farrier Jeff Pauly. For more information on the program at FENCE, visit info@fence.org.

Thursday’s laminitis program will start at 6:30 p.m. at the Hay Rack, located at 325 W. Rutherford St. Williams said the speakers will present for approximately 30 to 45 minutes followed by a question and answer session.

The program is free to the public, but space is limited. Those interested in attending are asked to register by the close of business on Tuesday by calling 864-489-3141, extension 114.