06 October 2016

From smart bits and transparent horse trailers to life-saving techno halters and magnetic stirrups, the equestrian lifestyle has its own fair share of cool gadgets and toys.

We take a look at some of the latest high-tech gadgets and future technologies that are on the market, or on their way, for horses and riders…


1. Transparent Horse Trailer


About as futuristic as you can get without actually being invisible, (I know, sorry!) this "transparent trailer" technology is being developed by Land Rover researchers, aimed at eliminating the blind spot when towing a horse trailer.


The driver will be able to see vehicles coming up behind them clearly, improving safety when overtaking and making maneuverability easier and safer.  



2. BUA Cantilevered Saddle

This award-winning cantilevered saddle design was created by a young Irish designer named Martin Ryan, with the technical assistance of aerospace technologists and leading automotive craftsmen.


By introducing a dynamic split-level structure, one saddle is able to fit several different horses while supporting the rider, creating optimum comfort for both horse and rider. 


It was several years in the making and combines immaculate craftsmanship, cutting-edge technology and intricate designs. The cantilever structure of the seat solves the age-old problem of single rigid conventional saddle structures.


3. Equine SmartBit


This new invention is in the prototype stage, and is set to revolutionise training, conditioning and feeding horses.


The SmartBit, developed by 15-year-old US entrepreneur Yijin (Jake) Huang, can determine how a horse is performing when training and competing, allowing riders and trainers to measure the horse’s fitness and performance in real time.


The bit monitors and records athletic biometric activity, giving the owner the knowledge to enhance, develop and track training programs.  


Bionic horse?  Why, don't mind if I do. 

Like a smartwatch,
but for horses   

Rave On!

When experienced rider Sami Gros’s friend and horse were hit by a car, despite wearing reflectors, it was a harmful and costly event that led Sami to develop the advanced safety LED lighting system that fits onto the horse’s tail.


The durable lights are tough and water-resistant, but comfortable and flexible for the horse, with power lasting up to 15 hours and visibility from more than half-a-mile away.


As well as a low and medium setting for riding and a number of customised colours to choose from, there is also an emergency setting that maximises battery life, while creating a strobe light effect that increases visibility for rescuers.  


It'll also look great at a rave, if such things still exist.



5. Magnetic Stirrups


One thing every equestrian knows, whether amateur or professional, is that losing a stirrup or two can wreak havoc on your performance, and in some cases, cause you to fall off.


It’s one of those issues that can occur if you misjudge a jump, or if your horse spooks, catching you off-guard. You could even say the stirrups are the riders ‘ground’, providing essential balance and control in the saddle.


OnType™ has the answer to this potential issue, making it far less likely for riders to lose a stirrup. The magnetic stirrup and boot system creates a non-binding magnetic grip between the stirrup footpad and sole of your riding boot.


The long-lasting neodymium - yes, that's a word - magnetic components of the invention are carefully engineered to ensure the right amount of strength, surface dispersion and weight to enhance performance.


While it adds extra security and control during a ride, it is also easy to release, making it safe in case of an emergency. 


So there you have it.  There's 79 days until Christmas.  I'm just saying....


Text by Carly Dolan & Paul Stretton/FEI

Magnetic stirrups =