If you can’t live a minute without your smartphone (mucking out while texting, easy), then you’ll love the new “smartsaddle” by Voltaire Design! The Blue Wing saddle was unveiled on January 20th in South Beach, Florida, at a lavish party filled with horsey celebs.
The saddles aren’t available until May 2016, so it will be interesting to hear the feedback from the early adopters in the spring. While the saddle seems to have many rider comforts, it remains to be seen whether it equally benefits the horse and it’s way of going. There is a notation that some vets thought the saddle could have “neurological” benefits, possibly through the biometric feedback within the app.
The saddle uses “Equisense”, a proprietary technology by Voltaire Design that “allows Blue Wing to track the time spent at each gait and at each direction, as well as the rhythm and the quality of the symmetry of your horse.” (VoltaireDesigns.com)
“This is the first-ever connected saddle. It can tell you for how long you rode your horse, how much time you spent walking, trotting, cantering. It can tell you the length of your horse’s stride and the course you jumped. If your horse goes more to the left or right, it will track that. It can tell you the speed you went and after you ride the same horse five times, it will recognize your horse immediately.”
Many of these metrics are something that an experienced horseperson could most likely feel or identify, but this saddle really takes some of the guesswork out of it. Having a log with dates to review any asymmetries is especially helpful for consultation with your vet about your horse’s performance or lameness issues.
Any technology that helps keep your horse sound and happy in his or her work is particularly valuable. Let’s keep the #SporthorseTech coming!