Imagine how much sounder you would sleep knowing that if your beloved horse was colicking, cast or injured, you’d be alerted by phone? The technology is here, and it’s called Equine Night Check.
We horse owners are a worried bunch — and we have good reason to be. For all their size and strength, horse are fragile creatures prone to injury and ailment. Our worst nightmare is to walk into the barn or our horse’s pasture to an equine emergency that’s past the point of no return, not knowing how long our horse has been suffering and if things could have turned out differently had we been there to help.
It’s a scenario that is painfully familiar to Meg Hamilton, founder and CEO of Hamilton BioVet. Her beloved dressage stallion colicked during the night and, by the time he was discovered in the morning, it was too late to save him.
“Most of us in the horse world are aware that colic is the number one killer of horses and that laminitis has felled even great horses such as Barbaro and Secretariat,” Meg explains. “For years, I have wanted to use my background in developing electronic technologies to create a product that would detect the earliest symptoms of such conditions and then alert you and the barn manager.”
Meg and her team now have working prototypes of just such a product. Called Equine Night Check, the system recognizes multiple signs of distress in a horse and sends an immediate alert directly to your phone. It contains a sensor with state-of-the-art software that decodes the activities of your horse and identifies when there is abnormal behavior such as being cast, showing symptoms of colic or laminitis or, in the case of a broodmare, preparing to give birth. If such activity is detected, you (and/or your barn manager, vet, etc.) will be automatically alerted via call or text.
How does it work? In addition to to an electronic motion sensor, Equine Night Check uses temperature and pulse sensors to monitor your horse. It’s able to differentiate between normal and abnormal; if your horse is a weaver or stall walker, Equine Night Check ignores that behavior as well as ordinary behavior like lying down, eating hay or just being a horse. The device fits on a special halter or neck strap and has a receiver that plugs into any electric outlet. The receiver can read signals from a horse in its stall or even outside in a pasture up to 3/4 mile away.
Once it goes on the market, the device is expected to retail for less than $500, with the basic system including one sensor, one cellular interface and a halter or neck strap.
Equine Night Check is a groundbreaking innovation that will absolutely save equine lives — and give owners peace of mind. But it needs a final push to transform from prototype into reality.
“We are seeking funding for this project on the Indiegogo Crowdfunding site,” Meg says. “Crowdfunding is the new way for small companies to raise money to bring products to market. In fact, this type of funding campaign has become a popular method to bypass the venture capital process. Ultimately, investors such as yourselves can directly impact the development and delivery of this cutting edge equine life-saving product.”
She continues, “Your contribution to this campaign will mean that together we can introduce a device that will improve and extend the lives of our equine partners. Please help us by donating to our campaign at http://igg.me/at/nightcheck and by spreading the word to your friends, family, vets and trainers. We need you to succeed. Thank you for your support!”
In return for their contributions, donors will benefit from a tiered incentive structure, from price-matched gift certificates to discounted Equine Night Check systems. Check it out here!
Go Hamilton BioVet, and Go Riding!