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HoofStep Remote Horse Monitor
 By Winniefield Park   •   31st Mar 2019   •   242 views   •   0 comments
HoofStep 24 Hour Horse Monitor

My daughter texted me recently. One of the boarderís horses was acting strangely. She thought perhaps the horse had hit its head somehow. As night was coming on, she worried that she might not be able to see its behavior easily, and what if she slept through something she should have noticed? Itís not unusual for an owner to spend the night sleeping beside a horseís stall because they have a similar concern, or spend a distracted day at work wondering what is happening at home. After all, most horse owners have to work at regular jobs to support our horse habit. If youíre lucky, youíve got someone nearby that can check on a horse. But what if that person isnít as knowledgeable, punctual or reactive as they need to be? Clearly, a better way to monitor our horses would be useful.

A few weeks ago, a startup called HoofStep contacted me about a Kickstarter Campaign they had begun to launch their product. HoofStep uses Artificial Intelligence to monitor your horse 24x7. By using a halter-like harness that carries a monitoring sensor, the horseís head movements are tracked.

HoofStep claims that subtle head movements indicate the health and activity of a horse, and can be an indication of when something is awry.

This can make it easier and faster to determine any change in the horseís behaviour due to stress, injury or illness. You will also be able to see how much manure is produced. Either youíll know how much mucking out youíll be facing when you get to the barn, or youíll get an indication that something is amiss because thereís a decrease in the number of times your horse produces manure.

HoofStep 24 Hour Horse Monitor

This particular device works not only to provide an early warning system for any problems, it also allows the owner to monitor how the horse is using its paddocks and pastures, and if it escapes. You can monitor where your horse spends its time. It can be used while riding so someone else can track where you are, and how fast you are travelling horse. The mobile app sends an alarm if your horse isnít where it should be. If all horses are wearing the monitor, you can tell who they are interacting with.

HoofStep 24 Hour Horse Monitor

While trailering, the app will send an alert if there is any indication the horse is in distress while traveling, so there is no need for a camera set up. If fact, youíll be able to see how your horse reacts to any situation and from the data collected, make changes to improve its environment. Imagine knowing very quickly if a horse is colicking or has gotten cast in its stall.

Being on foal watch can be exhausting and many owners spend cold nights sleeping on straw bales beside the stall of an expectant mare. Foaling cameras have their limitations since you have to watch a screen and may not notice anything going on if you donít check very frequently. HoofStep will send an alert as soon as a mare shows any behaviour out of the ordinary.

There are certainly other horse monitors but the nice thing about HoofStep is that it quite small and simple. Other monitors go around the horseís body, but HoofStep looks very much like a halter which many of our horses wear anyway. This also makes it useful when riding. The app shows a visual image of your horse, allowing you to see its body position and movements.

HoofStep 24 Hour Horse Monitor

This product isnít available on the market yet, but is in Kickstarter mode until July 2019. You can pledge a small amount to experiment with the app. Or, for about $250USD get the full package with a six month subscription.

Just to be fully transparent, although HoofStep reached out to me, Iíve not received any compensation from them to write this article. I thought it was an interesting product that some of you might find useful. Itís interesting to look at how technology continues to benefit our horses. And, technology like this might have taken some mystery out of what happened to the boarderís horse and given my daughter peace of mind.

Website: HoofStep Website
Kickstarter: HoofStep Kickstarter Campaign

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