What is Equine Distress?

As horse owners, we are ingrained with the need to be hyper vigilant when it comes to spotting behavioral changes in our horses. But what constitutes the buzz words of “equine distress” and how do we bring objectivity to detecting this distress?

Equine distress can stem from many factors, including injury, trauma, illness, fear, and boredom. While there are many common distress conditions (colic, being cast, foaling), colic is the greatest concern because it’s the leading natural cause of death in horses. Think about the last time you had a painfully upset stomach: you likely had a hard time sitting completely still, you might have felt your heart rate elevate and begin to sweat a little more than normal, but you were definitely physically agitated. Now think about the last time you were afraid of some physical threat, or you stubbed your toe really hard. This is a similar process horses go through, often in an unsupervised stall.

Historically, detecting distress in horses has been a very subjective process, until now with the advent of the Equine Distress Index®. This meant, giving up time and energy to watch the horse with your own eyes and then making a decision on how to proceed next, based on how they were acting. Since they are prey animals, horses tend to conceal outward signs of distress in order to protect themselves from predators. Coupled with the fact that horses are often unsupervised overnight or in remote locations, identifying equine distress is challenging.

After the loss of a beloved horse who passed unknowingly overnight, we set out on a mission to bring objectivity to the stable. Artificial intelligence in each NIGHTWATCH® smart halter learns your horse’s normal biometric and behavioral patterns. Once these collectively move away from their normal, you can be alerted right on your phone, even if you are miles away, so you can get to your beloved horse’s aid. Best of all, you do not need to monitor - our breakaway halters do that for you. Ready to bring objectivity to your barn? Buy yours today and sleep better tonight.