No matter how experienced or diligent you are when caring for your horse, there are a lot of unknowns. What is he doing when I’m not there? Is he too hot or cold under his blanket? How stressed is he when he’s on the trailer?
Especially if you’re like me and care for several horses, these questions can drive you crazy. It’s a lot to keep up with, especially when blanketing. Each horse in my barn seems to run on his or her own thermostat even if they’re all clipped or all wooly, all inside or turned out in the fields.
Orscana is the start to answering these questions, and if you’re a horse owner that values peace of mind, it’s a great device to have in the barn. Personally, I find it most useful when deciding which blanket to use overnight, when I can’t slip my hand under my horse’s blanket and feel how warm he is. It sends an alert to my phone when the horse is too warm or too cool, depending on the “comfort zone” that I set. It also tells me if my horse was resting still overnight, walking around a lot, or agitated, because it tracks the horse’s motion.
A few features I really like about the sensor:
- The sensor pairs with an app on your smartphone via bluetooth, and you can add details about your horse’s age, physical state, coat length, and the season.
- It can monitor humidity which is useful if the horse begins to sweat or becomes agitated.
- The app collects data on your location and weather, so it can advise what blanket to put on your horse overnight depending on the forecast and how comfortable your horse was the night before.
- The sensor is easy to clip onto a blanket. You can also sew it on, but I just clipped it onto the inside of my horse’s sheet using the clip apparatus they provide.
- I thought that the app, once set up, was easy to understand and use.
- It’s designed to withstand the force of your horse rolling or lying down on it, and is small and tapered enough that I don’t think it would be uncomfortable for the horse.
- It stores the data for up to 30 days.
- The battery life of the sensor is excellent – up to 6 months!
A few of the features I didn’t like as much:
- You can only use one sensor per horse. So if you have several horses, each would need a sensor. This is less of a “con” on my list, and more of something to be aware of.
- I was a little bit confused when I was getting the sensor and the app set up. Luckily, they have lots of great info online and their customer service seems to be top-notch, so I got it figured out very quickly.
Overall, I’d recommend this to a horse owner who frequently doubts her blanketing choices or is interested in how her horse is sleeping at night. It would also be great for trailering, when horses can sometimes seem comfortable when they load, but with stress and motion get overheated. This is a great device to monitor your horse’s comfort and rest, and has a place in backyard barns to competitive training facilities.
To learn more about the thought and science that went into designing the Orscana device, read my interview with the the co-founder of Arioneo, the company that creates it.
Go here to purchase the sensor: https://www.arioneo.com/en/product/orscana-pack/