September is all about getting back to school, college or at work focusing on projects to finish the year successful, so we thought why not ask our experts their top tips/recommendations they would give an equestrian who is looking to adopt horse tech into their routine? Yes, doing your homework, signing up for free product demos or trials, reading reviews, etc. were some of the answers they provided. Learning is one of our top mottos at The Tech Equestrian - a great foundation for any type of organization: #neverstoplearning.
Find out more in this month’s TTE Advisory Board post below.
1) Before choosing what type of technology to adopt it is important to understand what goals you may have where technology could help. Do you want to monitor your horse when you are not around? Are you looking to improve your horse’s fitness as you prepare for a long trail ride or big competition? Do you manage a big barn and need to streamline care decisions?
2) When possible, try to demo the product first. This will allow you to make sure it addresses your needs and gives you the information you want.
3) The technology should be easy to use. If it is overly complicated or frustrating you will not continue to use it, even if it is a valuable tool.
My tips would be:
1) Make sure to do a free trial, or to really USE the product before deciding either way. Any technology needs to "feel" good to you, and work well, for it to improve your situation. You might love it at first and then dislike it after a couple of days. Or, you might hate it at first and then, once you're used to it, understand how to use it better and get lots of value out of it.
2) Test out the Support system. Are you able to contact anyone helpful? Do they respond promptly and intelligently? You want to make sure you feel confident in getting help if/when you need it.
While some cultures still rely on horses for transportation or agriculture, others primarily view the relationship with the horse as one of sport or pleasure.
Now a multi-billion-dollar industry, the economic value of the business of horses is estimated to be 39 billion in the USA alone. Also evident are the opportunities to use new technology. As a tip, I would recommend to be open minded about new technology and do not be afraid to test services or products that can help make a great difference or impact in either sport or pleasure areas. Some companies offer free trial periods of their products/services and this is a good way to prove if expectations are met or exceed.
Another approach would be asking for reference of clients and ask them about their experience; this is always a very unbiased way to get good insights that will help taking decisions and minimize the risk.
1) Define the problem you are looking to solve. With many new and exciting equine technologies coming to market, it’s important to ask yourself ‘what problem or challenge am I looking to solve?” If you don’t, you may find yourself unnecessarily disappointed and also frustrated because of wasted time and money. For example, if you worry about your horse overnight because they are alone, then the NIGHTWATCH® smart halter™ may be right for you. This new technology alerts you to early signs of distress in your horse so you can sleep easier and intervene sooner in the event of a problem (e.g, colic). However, if you are looking for more insight into your horse while riding them, then technology such as Equisense Motion (girth) or Hylofit (heart rate training system) may be of value to you.
2) Don’t let technology replace horsemanship. In a culture where we are looking for ways to make our lives easier, it’s important to remember that easier does not necessarily equal better. In the case of horsemanship, there is no substitute for having eyes and hands on your horse. Unfortunately, we can’t always be with our horses, especially overnight, but thankfully there’s technology (eg. NIGHTWATCH® smart halter™) that can be. NIGHTWATCH® raises the bar on horsemanship by providing objective evidence and actionable insight for caretakers to do their jobs better. NIGHTWATCH® is not designed to replace horsemanship or displace the role of caretakers…simply elevate.
1) Be consistent: technology is useful but you have to be consistent to take advantage of the benefits and savings it can give you. No matter if it’s part of your work or just as a hobby use it every day.
2) Read tips and learn how to use all the features, you’ll see that anytime you read you can learn different tips and will enjoy more while using it.
The horse industry is starting to adopt technology in ways to make their lives, and the lives of the horses they support, easier. While there are always early adopters, and those that stand back and wait to try new things, my number one tip would be to not be afraid to embrace change to adopt new horse tech, and even be open to adjusting their routine to utilize it to the fullest advantage. The biggest mistake I have seen people make, not just in the horse industry but in some of the largest corporations in the world, is to try to incorporate a new technology into an old routine instead of adjusting the routine to reap the benefits of the new technology.