Hay everyone!

First of all, happy holidays! Hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season, and maybe y’all got a chance to make some of those fun crafts we showed in my last blog. One of my favorite things about this season is the new year. I get to have a fresh start on some new endeavors and work on finishing up some old ones. That reminds me, be sure to write to me if you have any ideas about some topics you want to learn more about! I’d love to hear some of your suggestions.

While I was still puzzling over my own goals, I decided to have a chat with some of the members of the Equine Science Center. I asked them each a few questions, so let’s see what they had to say:


Is there anything you are particularly looking forward to next year? Do you have any interesting research or projects lined up for 2024?

Dr. Malinowski: Since 2023 was a particularly hard year for me personally, I am looking forward to starting 2024 off fresh!  As always, my favorite part of my work is getting to associate with great students and horses!

Dr. McKeever and I are looking forward to completing the SARMS project and are also gearing up to collaborate with a company that makes biometric sensors for athletes.  We will look into adapting these for use in horses of all breeds and disciplines in order to track training progress and recovery to ensure equine well-being.

Dr. Williams: Living my healthiest life! And hoping that all around me are healthy!

Not doing any research right now, but if I get a graduate student in the fall, we would start something. However, being the Graduate Director of the Endocrinology of Animal Biosciences, I get to really be involved with ALL of the research going on by our wonderful graduate students and faculty!

Dr. Ross: I am looking forward to my first semester with no new courses for me, so I can really implement smaller, more meaningful changes compared to coming up with content for the first time. I am also incredibly excited for Ag Field Day (and crossing my fingers the weather cooperates so I can experience my first normal one!)

I am planning to help with the grant writing process on my first USDA Education grant with other teaching faculty! I am also looking forward to working with some students on increasing our visibility to prospective students as a viable option to those interested in agriculture.

Dr. Herbst: I am looking forward to all our upcoming research projects! There is also a publication that should come out in 2024 that I am really excited about. In this article we provide an overview of medical conditions affecting senior horses across the US and we highlight risk factors for some of these conditions.

I plan to finish up our current equine muscle loss assessment study. This study will tell us if people using the muscle atrophy scoring system (MASS) to monitor and detect muscle loss in horses should receive training before using the system. I also plan to assist Dr. McKeever with all his upcoming studies and hope to start a project concerned with SARMs (selective androgen receptor modulators) as a potential treatment option for muscle loss in senior horses.


Wow! These are some really enthusiastic responses. Looks like the folks at the Center will really be keeping busy next year, which means I’ll have plenty to write about! Let’s see what they had to say about 2023:


What are a few words that would sum up the past year for you?

Dr. Malinowski: Looking forward to the New Year!

Dr. Williams: Lots of extreme highs and lows.

Dr. Ross: This last year has been BUSY.  My first year I was teaching a lighter load to get the hang of things, this year bumped up to my full teaching responsibilities (and then some) plus added being advisor to two clubs!  I have loved every minute of it and look forward to being busy in future semesters working with students as well.

Dr. Herbst: I’ve been able to get one step closer to understanding 1) the current needs of the US equine community, and 2) the health status and special needs of US senior horses. I enjoyed speaking about research findings at conferences and events nationally and internationally. Finally, I always appreciated working with wonderful mentors and students on fun research projects!


I always enjoy hearing from the faculty at the ESC. They’ve got lots of good advice and never fail to amaze me with what they accomplish. (Thanks for the inspiration everyone!) I hope this gives you guys a bit of a sneak peek into what we’re working on for next year.

Until next time.

Your friend,

Lord Nelson

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