The leaves have all turned colors and I see pumpkins everywhere! Fall is definitely here and that means Thanksgiving is right around the corner. As you might guess, Thanksgiving is one of my very favorite holidays because of all the yummy food (mmm, I can already taste the pumpkin pie). Don’t get me wrong, I also take this opportunity to be thankful for the many good things in my life. One of the best things to be thankful for this holiday season is family.

My friends here at the Equine Science Center reported some disturbing news recently. There are reports of milkweed appearing in hay. At first glance I didn’t think this was a problem. I mean aren’t we supposed to plant milkweed for the Monarch Butterflies? I decided to do some sleuthing and see what I could uncover about milkweed and horses.

Can you believe November is right around the corner? It seems like just yesterday I was munching on all the fresh spring grass. Now I’m watching the leaves change color and seeing how many pumpkin donuts I can sneak in. I was told I may need to start watching my figure. Can you believe the nerve of that?! You do know what else November brings, right? The Evening of Science and Celebration is almost here! Mark your calendars for Thursday, November 14th.

In one of my recent blogs a took a look at vaccines and how they work. I had hoped to convince my veterinarian to decrease the number of vaccines and thus, needle pricks I received each year. I discovered instead that it is very important for me to receive all of my vaccinations each year to stay healthy. Along the way I learned biosecurity is also an important part of keeping myself and my horsey friends healthy. I decided I needed to gather more information about biosecurity and so, I set out on another investigative journey.

Excitement and fall are in the air as all the students once again return to campus! This has always been one of my favorite times of year. I love visiting with the students, meeting new people, and catching up with friends as they return. You know what else the fall brings? The Open Space Pace.

I have some front-line news to share with you all today. Several cases of Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE) have been reported right here in New Jersey. This news has caused my friends at the Equine Science Center to make sure all my vaccinations are up-to-date. Now, I’m sure all of you know how much I dislike my annual vaccinations. Don’t worry, though, I always behave myself and stand quietly while the veterinarian is here. I won’t embarrass myself or my friends at the Center. I make sure all of my friends here at the Center, though, are very aware of my complaints. You can’t blame me. I mean who really enjoys a needle stick? I decided it was time I called my investigative skills into action again. I set out to learn all I could about vaccines in hopes I could rid myself of some of these vet visits throughout the year.

It’s one of my favorite times of year – time to head back to school! Can you believe there’s a hint of fall in the air and students are returning to campus? All of those returning students bring plenty of snacks and attention for me! As much as I love the food and care showered upon me, I have to admit I also look forward to having classes start because of all the cool new things I get to learn from my friends. As I look forward to heading back to school, I thought I would continue my series on careers in the equine industry by interviewing someone who decided to make a career out of teaching and discovering cool things through research.

The Equine Science Center hosted an Alumni Reunion in conjunction with the annual Hambletonian Veterinarian Continuing Education Conference. Our Center staff and students had the opportunity to join the conference and learn all about the latest in equine health and management. Then it was off to the Meadowlands Racetrack where they set-up for an evening of catching up with friends and watching live harness racing.

Oh boy, do I have a story for you guys! I LOVE clover, and my pasture was filled with it this past week. It was the best week ever! Anyway, I was minding my own business grazing, but then all of a sudden I started drooling uncontrollably! It was definitely not an attractive look, and the mares in the neighboring pasture started laughing. There was saliva everywhere! So I had to find out, what was happening???

I’ve been in a rather reflective mood lately. I guess that’s what happens when you’re as old as I am. All of this thinking has taken me back to the days when I was trying to decide what I wanted to do with my life. Boy, I sure am lucky I ended up as a part of the mounted patrol team. Can you imagine how sad I would have been without all of the opportunities to make new friends and try exotic foods? (My life would be incomplete without the donuts I’ve come to love!). My journey as a member of the mounted patrol and mascot for the Equine Science Center would have never been possible without the guidance and wisdom of my friends and mentors. Now it’s my turn to serve as a mentor and provide suggestions for YOUR future career.