Technology Takes Sport to the Next Level
Every sport has its own uniqueness within them, and athletes work hard to achieve their dreams. I believe that the main purpose and goal of every athlete out there is to win and to perform at their maximum level. However, to achieve that, they must put a lot of time, effort, and dedication to the sport that they love.
“No Pain, No Gain”, simple as that.
Equestrian, Show Jumping, in particular, is a sport that I dedicate my life to. I have been in this sport for more than half of my life and I have seen so many changes in technology and innovation of products, equipment for horses and riders. These changes were made; to develop safer riding gears for riders, to help riders and horse owners to understand their horses’ wellness in more depth, to make competition organizers’ job more convenient, and most importantly, these changes were made to improve the performance of both riders and horses.
Accepting the fact that equestrian is a high-risk sport and therefore riders are required to have safety equipments and have their own responsibility to use them. These items are:
- MUST have item to protect the rider’s head from a fall
- Riding boots
- protecting the rider’s legs and feet
- Riding gloves
- protecting the rider’s hands from the leather bridle reins
- Riding breeches
- protection of the rider’s legs from rubbing the saddle
First thing first, when you decide to ride a horse, you must accept the fact that you will definitely fall off. Like it or not, it comes together. These items were designed to protect your body from a fall and from basic injuries that you could come across. However, there are still a lot of things out there that makes our riding experience safer.
Stirrups is one of the items that are crucial for horse riding. It is designed to hold and support the rider’s foot. When a fall happens, with riders who use a regular type of stirrups, there is always a possibility that the rider’s foot can be caught in them. Imagine that your foot is stuck in the stirrups while your horse is dragging you around, for sure it is not a pleasant scene to think of. Therefore, companies are now using technology to try to solve this problem by designing what we call a “safety stirrups“.
What makes safety stirrups different from regular ones is that they were designed with a mechanism that will allow the foot of the rider to release from the stirrups when a fall occurs. Different brands are developing various features and safety mechanisms in their product, for example, it can be an open side, foot stopper, a rubber band or a magnetic connection.
Hit-Air Jacket / Vest
Injury from a fall could be something very serious. To give extra safety features for the riders, “Hit-Air Vest” was born. Hit-Air is made especially for extreme equestrian disciplines, such as eventing and show jumping. However, it is also designed for beginners and children as well.
What is special about this product is that it acts just like an inflatable airbag. The vest is attached to the saddle by a strap and when it is loose, the airbag will activate, releasing CO2 gas, and inflate outward, just like a cushion. In addition, the airbag provided the best protection to minimize the risk of neck injury and concussion, protect your spinal cord, rib cages, and your lower back.
The wellness and condition of your horses are very important. If you want to be a good rider, you must take good care of your horse. That is rule number one. The process of taking care of your horse is very delicate and riders must take this very seriously. But sometimes, we cannot stay up all night keeping our eyes on our lovely friends.. and that is when most of the unexpecting things happened.
“Nightwatch” is specially designed for horse owners to keep track of their horse’s activity during the night. Accidents in the stables, health conditions, especially colic, or horses giving birth at night without the owners recognizing could be life-and-death matters. This is why the development of Nightwatch was made with the aim to save the lives of horses and was made for horse owners to have a better understanding of their horses’ health and conditions.
Organizing any type of sports events or competitions can be something very complicated and challenging for every organizer. Equestrian show events are also fit into that category as well. What I’m about to show you below is something that might just be a tool to ease the challenges show organizers might face.
It is not an easy task to take when you are assigned to being the host of an equestrian show. Thanks to “Equipe“, it is a fundamentally new way to manage equestrian shows that combines all the elements you need. With this program, you can easily manage riders declaration of the show, manage show schedules, updating start lists, timekeeping, accounting, displaying live scoreboards, and providing real-time data. All you need is just an Internet connection and you’re good to go.
Moreover, Equipe is not just a useful tool for show organizers, but also a handy program for competitors to have as well. Riders can easily download Equipe application to their smartphone and they can keep track of their rankings, their start lists, and keep updates on time schedules of their events.
At the end of the day, the purpose of every athlete in the sports industry is to perform at their best. Technology has become our best friends and a tool to help us improve our performances. In equestrian, we not only need to focus on the rider’s performances, but we also need to pay a lot of attention to the performance of our partner, horse, too. We say that an equation for equestrian sport is “1+1 = 1”, meaning that “you + your horse” must become a combination in order to maximize your performance.
There is a lot of development in how each model of saddle was being made in the last decade. But nothing beats this new innovation of “Blue Infinite Saddle 3.0″ by Voltaire design. The saddle combines the technology of ActiveFlex technology, which makes the saddle 30% lighter than the regular type, with SpineCare panels, which provide the best support to the horse’s spine.
Moreover, the unique features of this saddle is that it is the first connected saddle that has ever been invented. Simply download the “Voltaire design” application to your smartphone and connect Blue Infinite 3.0 Saddle with Bluetooth. The application will analyse and give a summary of your horse movement and performance during your training session in detail. It can monitor calories burned, speed, left and right-hand analysis, heart rate, breathing rate, vertical and horizontal jump height etc. With these data, the riders will be able to have a better insight of their horse’s fitness and health condition. As well as collecting information for further improvement in training so that they will be able to have the BEST day at the competition day.