I’m excited to be bringing you the latest post in my careers in the equine industry series! Are you ready for another inside look at a career? I certainly hope so because I can’t wait to share all my new insights with you. This week I talked to Mr. Mike Conforth, who is responsible for the daily management of Rick’s Saddle Shop, a tack, feed, and equipment supplier with locations in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. As a business, they employ approximately forty people.

Welcome to 2022! I hope you all had an enjoyable and restful holiday break. I certainly did. I spent lots of time dozing in the sunshine and munching on tasty treats (including some hot doughnuts). Do you remember what I wrote about in my last blog post? If you’re having trouble remembering, I can give you a hint. It was all about my New Year’s Resolution! If you took my advice and incorporated education into your resolution or goals for the new year, I have the perfect opportunity for you!

Happy New Year!! How has another year already flown by? For many of us, the start of a new year is a time for reflection and planning for the year ahead. I think reflection is best undertaken while dozing in the sunshine. There’s a perfect corner in my pasture for just this sort of activity. You never know what thoughts will float across your mind as you stand there in that state between waking and sleeping. One of the thoughts that floated across my mind recently was education.

The weather heading into this winter has been a little crazy. My two-legged friends never know what to wear. Should they don their heavy winter coats or a light jacket? My decision is a little less complicated. I grow a nice fluffy winter coat as the days begin to shorten. Winter shedding season will be triggered by the increasing length of the days as the spring approaches. Pretty cool, don’t you think? It also means I never have to put any thought into it. While my winter coat does an excellent job of keeping me warm on the cold days it can make me sweaty on some of these warm days we’ve been having. This leads some horse owners to opt into clipping their horses’ coats. This means, of course, that the horse will be less equipped to keep themselves warm on a cold day. So, what do you need to know about keeping your hose warm and cozy this winter?

The first sprinkling of snow has occurred here in Central New Jersey! There’s nothing like sparkling snowflakes to get you in the mood for some festive, holiday fun. The folks here at the Rutgers Equine Science Center have the perfect activity to fill a cold, winter afternoon with some holiday cheer. This year everyone had some fun decorating holiday candle holders. Check out the video for instructions on how to make your very own candle holder and gain some inspiration on decorating ideas!

I can almost smell the scents of Thanksgiving in the air! Can you believe Thanksgiving is almost upon us? As you might guess, Thanksgiving is one of my very favorite holidays. What’s not to like? You get to eat all sorts of yummy food, spend time with friends and family, and take time to reflect on the blessings in your life! To me, that sounds like the perfect combination. Of course, the Thanksgiving feast holds a special place in my heart (even though doughnuts are not usually considered part of a traditional Thanksgiving meal).

Where has the fall semester gone? I can’t believe our annual Evening of Science and Celebration is here. You’re invited to attend this fun event! Join us on Thursday, November 11th from 6:00 PM to 7:30 PM for a program packed full of science. You can also help us celebrate the evening’s award winners. The event will be fully virtual and is free to all! You will need to register for the event beforehand. You can do so at https://go.rutgers.edu/Evening2021.

I can’t wait for fall to fully arrive. Those mornings with a hint of crispness in the air make me want to kick up my heels and take off across the field! I also love to see the fun fall decorations people put up. Some of them can be a little scary, especially if they rattle in the wind. I must admit, though, those scary decorations give me the perfect excuse to show off my moves in front of the ladies. Do you know how quickly I can do a spin and launch into a gallop? It’s fast. While all of these antics are fun, my mind quickly turns to food. I’ve got to replenish all that energy I expended on the fun and games! 

I have an exciting post for you this week! I decided it was time to dive back into my series on careers in the equine industry. This week I interviewed one of our very own, Dr. Kenneth McKeever. Dr. McKeever is an equine physiologist who works at Rutgers University as a Professor in the Department of Animal Sciences and the Associate Director for Research at the Equine Science Center. If you’ve ever been to one of our events such as the Evening of Science and Celebration, you might have heard him talk about his research or a related topic.

Things have been busy at the Equine Science Center. Our students have returned to campus, and they have filled it with such positive energy! Our labs have also been busy as research projects get under way or continue. Sometimes I have to take a quick cat nap just thinking about all the fun things going on. It can be exhausting. One of the ongoing research projects is our big project with veterans and horses. I know I’ve given you some hints in the past about this wonderful project. Today, though, we’re going to set off on an investigative journey to take a deep dive into one particular aspect of this project. Journey along with me as I learn about heart rate and heart rate variability.