If you’ve been paying attention to the world of horse racing, you’ll know it has been a summer of upsets. Rich Strike pulled out a surprising win as an 80 to 1 long shot in the Kentucky Derby. Just this past weekend Cool Papa Bell made history by pulling off the biggest upset in the history of the Hambletonian at 52 to 1 odds. I’ve always loved a good underdog story, so this summer has been an exciting one for me! While horse racing has offered some exciting spectacles this summer, there have been plenty of other things going on. One of these exciting events was the recent Hambletonian Continuing Education Seminar.

Have you ever stood in the feed store aisle and contemplated the vast array of supplements lining the shelves? I have and, whew, it’s exhausting. How do you sort through this massive amount of information to decide whether your horse needs a supplement and if so, which one? Well, our very own Dr. Carey Williams has authored a factsheet to help guide you through this decision making process. If you want all the details, you should visit the factsheet online. I’m going to go ahead and give you a brief recap with some of the important points in today’s blog.

I know it’s been a while, but I’m excited to be bringing you the latest post in my careers in the equine industry series! This is one of my favorite series to revisit because I get to learn so much about the equine industry and the people who work in it. I’m especially excited for this week’s dive into the life of a hay producer because we get to talk about one of my favorite things – hay!! This week I interviewed Mr. Ryck Suydam, a hay producer and farmer in Somerset County, New Jersey.

Next week will be a time of picnics and relaxation for many people here in the United States. While these festivities are a fun way to spend a summer day, the fireworks lighting up the evening sky as night falls can be a cause of anxiety and concern for many. Among those who may dislike the loud noises fireworks produce are my four-legged friends. Convincing your neighbors and towns to not have fireworks is probably unrealistic, but there are still some steps you can take to keep you and your horse safe this 4th of July!

This summer is already flying by! The Month of the Horse is halfway over. I hope you enjoyed New Jersey Equestrian Safety Week and were able to purchase some new safety gear! With July quickly approaching, that means the annual Summer Showcase is also quickly approaching! Join us on Wednesday, July 13th for a fun and educational day on campus. We are back in-person this year. Yippee!!

Do you remember me promising you another exciting surprise for the Month of the Horse? Well, it’s here! This year the Month of the Horse will include an Equestrian Safety Awareness Week. Equestrian Safety Week will be June 5th through 11th this year. This is the perfect time to check your tack room and make sure all that safety equipment is up to date. If it’s not, you might want to visit your local tack store to replace or purchase what you need. Many of the New Jersey tack stores will be offering discounts. Watch our social media accounts for a full listing of the tack stores offering discounts during Equestrian Safety Week. Let’s take a quick look at some important considerations for keeping yourself safe around horses.

Boy, has this spring semester flown by. Can you believe June is only two weeks away? I certainly can’t. I looked at the calendar the other day and thought I was reading it incorrectly. My friends at the Equine Science Center assured me I was correct. In New Jersey, June is a very special month. Do you know why?

If your horse’s pasture is anything like mine, you can tell spring has arrived! My pasture is covered with tender, green shoots of new grass. Yum!! This is one of my favorite times of year to munch on the grass in my pasture. It turns out this preference of mine isn’t that surprising according to research. Non-structural carbohydrates (NSC) are highest in the spring when plants begin to grow again after being dormant in the winter. NSC is a measure of the fructans, sugars, and starches found in feedstuffs. Sugar sounds good to me, so it’s no wonder I like this fresh spring pasture! While I think this makes my pasture a paradise, these high levels of NSC can be harmful for some horses.

I am SO excited!! Ag Field Day at Rutgers Day returns as an in-person event this year after a couple of years of virtual events. I can’t wait to welcome you to campus and the Equine Exercise Physiology Laboratory. As you know, I love interacting with visitors (especially when they bring me doughnuts). Make plans to join us on Saturday, April 30th. The event begins at 10AM and will go through 4PM.

If the mounds of horse hair on the barn floor are a reliable indicator, spring has arrived. You may want to enjoy the beautiful spring weather by squeezing in a few extra rides. Spring brings its own set of responsibilities for horse owners, though. One of the items that should be at the top of your to-do list is scheduling your horse’s spring vaccinations, if you haven’t already done so. Spring vaccinations are a critical part of any good equine management plan. Putting in the time and effort to schedule vaccines now will keep your horse healthy in the coming months, giving you more time to enjoy pleasant days on horseback.