I hope everyone had a happy and safe Fourth of July. I had a great view of some fireworks from underneath the old apple tree in my pasture, with plenty of treats from the BBQ next door!
Unfortunately, not everything this weekend went perfectly. Last week I got a scratch on my eye, which was quite irritating. My caretakers put a fly mask on my head and put tape over the spot where my right eye is located to keep the sun out. They also had antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medicine to put in my eye. Now, I really hate having the fly mask on since it keeps me from seeing everything that is going on out at the farm, and I especially hate having medicine rubbed in my eye, but after 37 years I’ve learned that sometimes you just have to take your medicine and listen to others that know what is best for you.
Looking at me calendar, I realized that today, June 21st, is the official start of summer. You may be saying – “What’s the big deal?” – but as an old police horse, I can tell you that working in the summer heat can take a lot out of you. Many people spend their summers working with their horses in the show ring, at the racetrack, or riding the trails. Heat stress is a big concern to both equine athletes and their owners.
I picked up the newspaper today and it was like looking in the mirror! Two of my favorite New Jersey newspapers featured yours truly in an article about Equine Science 4 Kids! If you did not have a chance to grab a copy of the paper, you can click here to read the article.
Have you ever seen a horse running on a treadmill? I’m just checking in to let you know that there is a new video starring my friend Frankie performing a Graded Exercise Test (GXT) on the Equine Science 4 Kids site. The video shows the work done by both horses and humans at the Equine Science Center. Click here to watch.
June, my favorite month, is almost here! Can you guess why June is my favorite month? Not only is everyone grilling hot dogs, but it is also the Month of the Horse! Way back in 1977, when I was still a young colt, the New Jersey Legislature and Governor Byrne proclaimed the horse as the state animal. In 1998, while I was working the beat as a mounted patrol horse, Governor Whitman declared June as the Month of the Horse here in New Jersey.
Finals have finished and summer is fast approaching, and with that comes the annual graduation ceremony at the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences here at Rutgers. Several of our Equine Science students are preparing to graduate with a degree in Animal Science! Many are making plans to go to vet school or to work in fields related to equine science. We are very proud of our graduates!
My friends at the Rutgers Equine Science Center told me that they had over 5,000 visitors at the treadmill laboratory last weekend during Ag Field Day. They also told me the Equine Science 4 Kids bright red recycled tote bags was very popular, and that they handed out almost 1,000 bags in less than two hours!
I’m Lord Nelson, a American Quarter Horse.
My first job at Rutgers University was on mounted patrol. I also carried the Scarlet Knight mascot at football games. One day I became famous when I got excited, stepped onto the field and became the only horse in history to receive a penalty in a football game! And I’m curious and mischievous! I love to be outside, so don’t ever leave my stall door open. I love all kinds of food – just about nothing at a picnic is safe. I also don’t like cheese puffs. That cheetah on the bag scares me to death! After 22 years on mounted patrol, I’m proud to be back, working for the Rutgers Equine Science Center and telling everyone what I know.