A NIGHT OF AWARENESS & DISCOVERY; RUTGERS EQUINE SCIENCE CENTER 2017 EVENING OF SCIENCE AND CELEBRATION by Calvin Schwartz
November 17th 2017
Calvin Schwartz graduated from Rutgers University with two science degrees and spent 12 years in retail Pharmacy and over 25 years in optical sales and management. Along the road of personal reinvention, there were several trips to Sedona, Arizona for barefoot red- mountain vortex climbing and decades of Jersey shore jetty sitting and Atlantic Ocean salt air inhalations. What followed was an evolution to a spiritualist, environmentalist, and trans-humanist (looking for ways to live to 150 years without overdosing on broccoli). Ten years ago, his first novel ‘Vichy Water’ was published and he subsequently morphed into a journalist, producer, co-host of NJ Discover LIVE TV and a ‘Jack of All Trades’ writer for NJ Discover where he covers music, environment, homelessness, animal causes and anything else relevant to Jersey’s molecular magic. A second novel is in the ‘reinvention’ works.
Facebook: Cal Schwartz Instagram: cal_schwartz Twitter: Earthood Novel Website: www.vichywater.net Email: email@example.com
One of the first reality TV shows was Candid Camera (for those of you who remember) and it actually began around 1948, before my viewing maturation. The point being, the tag line of the show was something akin to “when you least expect it.” I’m about to segue the tag line to how I arrived at the Rutgers Equine Science Center Event on Thursday November 9th. The interconnectivity of the universe fascinates me.
I’ve known Warren Zimmerman, Co-Chair of Equine Science Center and Past Chair & CEO, State Theatre New Jersey, for the past six years of my journalism. Our paths have often crossed in varied venues of Rutgers participation, athletic viewings, football, men’s and women’s basketball and arts and culture.
Recently, I spent the day at Funny Farm Rescue-An Animal Sanctuary in deep South Jersey, where they nurture and care for 500 unwanted animals. One of the animals, a retired horse, was enjoying life at 45 years old. I wrote an article for NJ Discover on my time there. Warren read it and when we were together at an event in the foothills of Bedminster a few weeks ago, he asked if I’d be interested in learning about horses, and the Equine Science Center. My response was instant intent. I prefaced by reminding Warren of my commitment to animals, having stopped eating all animals with four legs in 1975. So, when I least expected it, in Bedminster, sitting near a fire pit, I was on my way to a new world of Equine Science and a very special evening of learning about the science of horses.
How often have I randomly quoted Aldous Huxley, as it is a brave new world? At the VIP reception for the evening, I immediately met Dr. Karyn Malinowski, Director and Professor of Animal Sciences. We exchanged verbal credentials, mine paltry compared to hers. Later at the banquet dinner, attended by several hundred supporters, students and enthusiasts, Dr. Malinowski presented a scientific paper, “The Effect of EAAT on the Well-Being of Horses, and Veterans Diagnosed with PTSD.” EAAT is equine assisted activities therapy
Interestingly, I was quite absorbed with the science involved. Sitting next to Warren at the dinner, he repeatedly asked if I was enjoying the proceedings, meaning Dr. Malinowski’s discussion. Smiling broadly, I held up my yellow legal pad, filled with six pages of notes. What hooked me was the aspect of the study as to working with horses and with Veterans with PTSD. I’ve been writing about and interviewing for the past two years and had him as guest on my NJ Discover LIVE TV Show, a Marine Veteran, Robert Consulmagno, diagnosed with PTSD & Bipolar. He became a world ranked Jiu Jitsu fighter and PTSD and Bipolar advocate, working with the Veterans Administration. (http://www.supercrazycozmo.com )
It’s not within the scope of this article to go in depth scientifically but there is an exclamation point to Dr. Malinowski’s study. There was no change in physiological readings of the horses which means they were not stressed out working with Veterans. And now the best. There was a tremendous reduction in PTSD symptoms after five days! In the study they used one woman and six men. For me, this evening was the continuing discovery of what Rutgers University is all about. A singularity in purpose, accomplishment, research and practical betterment of life.
What is the Equine Science Center? Simply, “Better Horse Care through Research and Education.” It’s always best to go to the website and explore their initiatives, faculty, students, outreach, research and resources. There is a brave new world right here in Central Jersey. http://esc.rutgers.edu/
The first part of the evening was a facility tour of the Equine Treadmill Demo, part of the Equine Exercise Physiology Lab on College Farm Road. Unfortunately, I missed that, networking, meeting and greeting at the opening reception. At the shank of the evening, I met with Kyle Hartmann, Public Relations Specialist, who mentioned another treadmill demo down the road. I was invited, so this story to be continued.
The banquet dinner was held at the Cook Student Center, an environment replete with airs of agriculture advancement and studies; the food was right up my flexitarian ‘alley.’ Somehow, thinking of the science of horses, you forget the cultural, practical, historical and business aspects of horses.
Brittany Smith from the Warren County 4-H spoke about the Triple Crown with its storied history. Citation won in 1948 and was the first horse to win one million. Even as a student of sports history, I didn’t know that. A history of the Triple Crown is a history of America; the lyrics changed in the Kentucky Derby’s “My Old Kentucky Home.” Secretariat setting records in 1973. I remember where I was.
Later, PhD. Candidate Dylan Klein spoke on “Fit as a Horse: Body Composition and Aerobic Capacity During Training and Detraining.” For me, very practical aspects cutting through the science. What happens to the body when you stop exercising. Training does improve oxygen uptake in horses. Hopefully, I can’t be far behind. After the crowds had left, I spoke to Dylan (background in nutrition) on my nutritional pursuits since leaving Rutgers Pharmacy School in 1969. To be continued.
Awards were presented. The 2018 Spirit of the Horse Award to Laurie Landy, who runs the Special Strides Therapeutic Riding Center. The film of her work with a special needs child was hugely emotional. The 2018 Gold Medal Horse Farm Recipient went to Dorsett Farms owned and operated by Larry and Ann Dorsett.
At the end of the night, the banquet room lights dimmed, I spoke to Amy Butewicz, Co-Chair, first introducing myself and mentioning how the universe and Warren Zimmerman had brought me here, when I least expected to be so captivated and moved. Then the nightcap of synchronicity in the universe; Amy and I both have the same animal activist friend, Amanda, in California, who has a farm for retired, unwanted horses. I knew it was all good about being here at the Equine Science Center, about things meant to be and continued.