Improving the health and performance of horses are the goals of two equine conferences in early February planned for horse owners and professionals. The sessions are hosted by the University of Minnesota (UMN)  at its Leatherdale Equine Center on the St. Paul campus.

Equine veterinarians, farriers, technicians, and nutritionists will want to attend the Equine Professionals Conference on Friday, Feb. 7. Brian Nielsen, PhD, from Michigan State University, will open the conference at 3 p.m. with his keynote on furosemide effects on performance horses.

Alonso Guedes, DVM, PhD, and Andres Gomez, PhD will discuss the connection between laminitis and pain management, and how diet influences the equine microbiome.

Additionally, two UMN research updates will focus on water quality and the connection between endocrine-disrupting chemicals and equine metabolic syndrome. Dinner, sponsored by Tribute Equine Nutrition, is included. The conference will conclude at 7:30 p.m. with a brief hot topics discussion.

The following day, Feb. 8, horse owners are invited to a day-long program focused on performance horses. Brian Nielsen, PhD, from Michigan State University, will open the conference at 10 a.m. with his keynote on furosemide effects on the performance horse.

Nicolas Ernst, DVM, and Marcia Hathaway, PhD, will discuss identifying and managing lameness and using equine nutrition information. Michelle DeBoer, PhD, from UW-River Falls, will discuss amino acids and their impact on horse health. Krishona Martinson, PhD, will discuss water quality and Elaine Norton, DVM will discuss using genetics to better care for your horse.

There will be a 30-minute discussion on hot topics before the conference concludes at 3:30 p.m. The Performance Horse Owner conference costs $40 and includes lunch.

For both conferences, online registration is required by Feb. 4 and more information is available at Although the conferences were planned for specific audiences, they are open to anyone interested in attending. The conferences are jointly hosted by UMN Extension and the College of Veterinary Medicine.

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