Season’s greetings friends and “neigh”bors! The holiday season is upon us and I am so excited! Nothing can compare to some soupy, hot bran mash on a chilly night, or one of those sweet and crunchy candy canes that I love so much. But it’s most important this time of year to show how much we appreciate the people we love; after all, it’s better to give than to receive! (Or is it?!) Well luckily, the Rutgers Equine Science Center has come up with some great ideas for gifts this holiday season so you can give and receive simultaneously!
I can’t believe how quickly the seasons are changing, and Thanksgiving is only a few days away! For many of you, thoughts of a big, juicy turkey, warm gravy, and sweet pumpkin pie are the things that come to mind in anticipation of the holiday. I know it sure does for me! But then again, when am I NOT thinking of food?! Although I won’t be partaking in the feast (my owner says he can’t find a chair large enough for me to sit at the table….I was slightly offended), try to remember to show your equine pals how thankful you are to have them by baking them some homemade goodies! Every horse deserves to be a little spoiled, and preparing horse treats can be a fun activity for horses and humans alike.
I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween! The snow couldn’t stop me from getting some treats of my own. As you already know, I love treats any day of the year and October 31st is no exception! I just can’t get enough of those sugary sweet delights! But with my affection for confections, I need to take good care of my old chompers! I had a recent checkup from my equine dentist friend to help prevent any dental dilemmas.
Something strange happened the other day when my friend Magic and I took our annual trip to the apple orchard. There we were, happily munching on the “fruits” of our labor, when I saw something whiz past my head and go straight for Magic! I wanted to yell, “Magic, look out!” but my mouth was full of applesauce and before I knew it, the buzzing insect landed right on his nose and STUNG! Magic threw up his head and snorted in reaction to this unpleasant surprise…my poor friend had been caught completely off guard! As much as it is unfortunate that this blog post comes at my friend’s expense, it is important to let you in on the “buzz” about these pesky insects so you don’t have your own unfortunate encounter.
Have I mentioned how much I love this time of year? Although the weather has been a bit dreary, I took full advantage of one the few nice days we’ve had and went apple picking with my good friend Magic. The apple orchard is one of my favorite places to be; red delicious snacks above me and lush green grass below! Speaking of grass, have you noticed how quickly it’s been growing lately? All the precipitation and cooler weather provide the perfect conditions for rapid pasture growth. But as much as I love grass, I know that you can have too much of a good thing.
Boy that rainstorm we had was quite a doozy! Forget about it raining “cats and dogs”, more like “horses and ponies”! I hope everyone stayed safe, and for those of you who lost power: now you know what living like a horse is like…it’s not so bad! Who needs electricity anyway? The flooding from the storm was something I can sympathize with however; my field was wet and muddy for days. And because my pasture was littered with puddles, I developed a little skin problem called “scratches”.
Sorry I haven’t had time to post about my activities lately. Boy has my summer been hectic! I had a great time with my friends from the Harness Horse Youth Foundation; showing them around the research facilities here at Rutgers, putting on an equine treadmill demonstration, and even giving out some goodies for them to remember me by! It was a great time had by all. For pictures from the event, visit our Facebook page and don’t forget to “Like” us while you’re there!
While most of my human friends can enjoy the air conditioning on a hot and humid day, I seek the shade of a tree or run-in shed to keep cool. This heat is tough on any horse, and since I’m (a little) older than most, I have to be especially careful to be sure I’m consuming enough calories to keep my body functioning and maintain a healthy body weight. Some horses may lose as much as 7 to 10 percent of body weight in sweat per hour in extreme temperatures. That’s about 9-10 gallons of horse sweat…gross! Dr. Malinowski keeps my diet high in calories by increasing my grain, adding corn oil to my feed, and feeding me a wide variety of…doughnuts!
Looking for something fun to do next week? Come to the Equine Science Center’s Open House from 12 pm to 1 pm on Tuesday, July 12th at the Equine Exercise Physiology Laboratory on College Farm Road on the George H. Cook Campus in New Brunswick! If you ever were curious about what we do at the Equine Science Center, this is a great event for you to find out! Join Dr. Karyn Malinowski as she explains why horses make such great research models for exercise physiology and the various types of research we do at the Center. Guests will also be able to see one of the research mares gallop full speed on our 21-foot equine treadmill…what a treat! This event is free of charge, but it is asked that you pre-register by calling the Equine Science Center at (732) 932-9419.
You know how important it is to protect yourself from the harmful effects of the sun, but what you probably don’t know is that horses can get sunburned and need protection as well. You might be thinking: “Doesn’t a horse’s haircoat shield their skin from the sun?” While this is mostly true for horses that are dark in color, lighter colored horses (particularly appaloosas and paints) are especially susceptible to sunburn due to the lighter pigmentation of the skin. Horses do not experience the full body burn that humans can get when overexposed, but specific areas of a horse’s body are also more prone to sun damage, particularly regions with little hair such as the eyes and muzzle.
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.