There is rarely a day that passes in a barn when someone doesn’t ask the question, “What should I put on my horse?” This is a daily uncertainly, and Orscana aims to take the guess work out of the equation.
Orscana is a wearable equine health monitor that is placed under the horse’s blanket. The sensor measures temperature, humidity and movement, feeding the data to an app on your phone. Additionally, the sensor measures and analyzes the horse’s movement, so you can know if your horse was tossing and turning in the middle of the night, or quietly standing and munching hay until you arrive at the barn in the morning.
“The goal is to know what is happening when we are not with the horse,” said Valentin Rapin, co-founder of Arioneo, which has developed the Orscana device as part of their Care line with the aid of veterinarians and engineers, with plenty of backing by scientific studies. “For example, we know when the horse laying down and getting up constantly, it can be a sign of colic or agitation. You know exactly what’s happening the night before competition – you know if he slept well or not. If he’s going to be tired doing the training before competition, so you can adapt [your warm-up] to your horse.”
The app on your phone will alert you if your horse leaves the “wellbeing zone”, meaning he is too hot or too cold under his blanket. This data is adapted specifically for your horse, taking into consideration the season, your horse’s age and breed, physical condition and gender.
“We also take into account the horse’s geolocation. What is the forecast for the night? We compare it with the horse’s wellbeing zone and weather of last night and we will advise whether or not his rugs need to be changed,” explained Valentin.
The company was started by Valentin and his friend Erwan Mellerio, both men bringing a lifetime of experience with horses and riding to the device’s development. They were then joined by Technical Director Thomas Buisson and Veterinarian, Dr. Herve Moreau. They saw the need for a device to answer a simple but daily questions of ‘How does my horse feel?’ and ‘What is he doing when I’m not there?’
“Today in soccer, football or other sports we can’t imagine not having those training devices that give biometrics and physical data for the trainers [to study]. For us it was very obvious that we could develop that type of technology for horses,” said Valentin. “Horses are trained like real athletes but they can’t talk, so it makes even more sense to develop the technology to have a better understanding of them. This helps the welfare of the horse, which in turn aids in the performance and can help riders prevent injuries.”
Valentin Rapin (on the left) and Erwan Mellerio (on the right), Arioneo’s founders
This device has practical applications for both beginners who are unsure of how to blanket their horse for the night, and seasoned professionals who want the very best care and monitoring of their athletic partners. It’s also perfect for travelling to shows, as you can monitor your horse’s data while he is in the trailer.
Valentin stresses that Orscana is not meant to replace the feeling and intuition of horsemen in caring for their horses, but instead to give additional data and an objective view.
“The goal is for people to get to know their horse better and get more confident with the actions they are doing,” he said. “When you come into the stables in the morning and you know what your horse was doing at 3a.m., and that the horse was in the well-being zone, you can know that you did the right thing.”
Learn more at www.arioneo.com and keep an eye our for Arioneo’s next device, a performance tracker.