No longer is the be-all-and-end-all of horse management owning a hoof pick. The equestrian world is now adopting a plethora of new technologies and products to help manage their horse on a daily basis. These include items for improved safety, stable security, tack for the horse and a variety of gadgets for the riders.
In this article we take a quick look at some of our favourite new equine inventions, horse tech and wearable equestrian technology on the market right now.
Cameras for horse owners
We are big fans of camera technologies and what support they can give the equine community. With significant improvements and affordability over the past decade within camera technologies many riders now look at these technologies to help them day to day whether for safety or to understand their ride techniques.
Riding helmet cameras
Riding cameras are becoming more and more popular. They are particularly useful for riders who are using public roads and many riders like to share moments of their rides with friends and family.
GoPro cameras, used in many sports across the world, are not developed specifically for horse riders and we found in the past that they could be slightly cumbersome and heavy when riding - especially when hacking. The technology can also create issues in low light and produce a shaky image when worn on the front of a helmet.
The Techalogic HC-1 helmet camera is one of the leading personal camera devices within the equine market. This camera is an ultra lightweight camera (only 48 grams) and is specifically developed for use within the equestrian industry. It provides 2.5 hours of run time so is ideal for hacks and training. The camera is supplied with an elasticated head strap which is super easy to fit and using an SD card can hold plenty of memory for multiple videos. It is also fully IP65 waterproof so it can be used in all weather conditions.
Technology for tracking your rides
Equilab provides an awesome phone app which tracks your riding progress and the routes you decide to take with your horse. Used by millions of equestrian users you can plan and organise rides with your friends, share data on your rides and join a growing social network community for sharing data of all kinds.
Camera for trailer monitoring
Many horse owners understand the nerve-wracking feeling when driving along with a trailer and horse in tow. Having a second pair of eyes monitoring the horse in the back of the trailer is a great way to provide peace of mind.
The Amtifo wireless backup camera system works wonders! It’s really simple to setup and provides drivers with the ability to monitor the trailer at all times with the 7” screen provided. The camera provides 1080p HD quality and can link up to 4 cameras to show 4 separate split screen images, it even has a nigh-camera setting so we can see an image when it’s dark. Any heart-stopping moments on a journey and with one quick glance we can check on our horse.
Camera for tracking training techniques
Many of us now like to monitor our training sessions and look back at what we did right, and wrong, in a session. Auto-tracking camera monitoring is a technology gaining popularity within the equestrian world - think of this technology as a robotic cameraman!
Pixio (for cameras) and Pixem (for smartphones) are automated tracking cameras which are widely recognised as ‘best in class’ and compatible with most cameras and smartphones.
They have pedigree within the equestrian industry as official partners of FEI Dressage and the US Equestrian team and provide customers with an unparalleled tracking technology for a relatively affordable price (versus paying a cameraman). The technology automatically zooms your smartphone making monitoring of your training even easier and can be edited using all editing software.
Camera for stable monitoring
With so many CCTV camera options now available it is often a challenge to establish just what solution is best for you. Cameras inside and outside the stables provide owners with a level of peace of mind, a security deterrent and an even a useful warning-tool for when when your horse is in foal.
Bascom CCTV have cable-less CCTV cameras which work across your existing electrical circuits which do not require additional cabling within the stable. Cameras are connected directly to a power sockets and securely stored on locally housed router boxes. Images can be viewed remotely from anywhere in the world and even have ‘motion detection’ and ‘privacy mask’ technology built in.
Latest tack and equipment for horse riders
Safety when riding is of upmost importance. Body protectors are now widely used within the equine industry for all training and hacking, aimed at absorbing imp[act from a fall. There are many to choose from so it’s worth a trip to your local tack shop to see what they would body protector they would recommend.
If you have ever been in a horse fall or accident you will no the importance of being able to remove your feet from the stirrups. Ophena magnetic stirrups are an innovative new design of stirrup which as the name suggests provides a magnetic connection between the stirrup and the riders foot. Magnetic soles are placed inside the riders boots and these provide a magnetic attraction to the stirrup - super quick to release in a fall and a revolutionary approach to stirrup use.
Shock absorbing saddle pads are another new form of horse tack which are gathering pace within the community. These are developed to dampen the force subjected on the horses spine and sit directly between the saddle pad and the horses back.
Safety technologies, such as Icedot, which are placed on a helmet and are able to detect a fall - sending out emergency notifications if the rider fails to respond by the end of a countdown. Thee technologies are ideal for people who hack alone and have developed over time via the mountain biking and climbing industries.
Managing your horses health using new technologies
Advanced magnetic technologies, such as EQU StreamZ horse bands, provide equestrians with a natural and non invasive form of therapy developed to support the horses joints and wellbeing - without the need to continually administer medications. These technologies can be extremely useful in competing animals and sports horses when regulations state that administering medications can prevent them from competing.
Another technology which is becoming more commonly used is the introduction of monitoring technologies, similar to fit-bits for humans, which continuously monitor the health of your horse. Devices such as the Nightwatch smart halter which monitors your horses heart rate, respiratory rate, motion and even posture throughout the night are becoming ever more popular.
Infrared technologies have improved immensely and are becoming more cost effective. Useful in detecting early signs of lameness and understanding what may be going on with a suspected tendon or ligament injury, technologies such as the Flir One thermal camera can provide smartphone users with the ability to use infrared technology.
Managing your horse or several horses at the same time can be a challenge. Programs such as Hippovibe keep all your teams health records all in one place, help you create daily task lists and provide a central hub for all health related requirements including each horse health records and any individual dietary plans which may be in place.
Whether you are riding at home for fun or competing in showjumping, 3-day eventing, dressage, polo or rodeo events such as barrel racing - the ongoing safety of the rider and the horse is of paramount importance.
With new technologies developed to protect the rider and the horse it is always worth researching what new technology is being introduced to the market.
The equine industry is never standing still in this regard so we hope this article has introduced you to some new ideas and methods which you may be able to invest in and adopt to provide peace of mind and safety within your daily riding activities.