It’s the year 2020, and while it might be a tad disappointing we don’t yet have flying cars or a colony on Mars, those things haven’t ever really appealed to horse folk anyways (if we’re being honest).
Given the choice, we’d likely take a good saddle over Doc’s tricked out DeLorean from Back to the Future. Equestrians employ the oldest method of locomotion in history every single day, and so naturally, we embrace tradition. President of Voltaire Design Brice Goguet continues to ensure we can have the best of both worlds.
This past Monday, the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida was host to the Voltaire 10 Year Anniversary Party. At the height of the evening, Goguet propelled riders into the future once again, and he didn’t need a flux capacitor and 1.21 gigawatts of power to get there. He did it with the Blue Infinite, the 3.0 saddle.
A smart saddle with all of the capabilities of its predecessors (the world’s first became available in 2016), the Blue Infinite 3.0 model is a health and fitness companion that allows riders to track their horse’s heart rate, speed, calories burned, recovery time and more in real time via smartphone or smartwatch.
It can also perform an electrocardiogram, making it a useful tool for veterinarians.
The captured data, Gouget explained, can be used to analyze your riding and provide an extra measure of health safety when equine athletes are exerted for top sport. For example, a heart defect, or asymmetry at the trot, detecting early lameness.
Technology won’t make natural feeling and horsemanship obsolete, of course. We have until at least 3030 before AI Robots overrule the human race in that respect.
“Nothing can replace good horsemanship,” said Goguet, “But we believe this can help riders and trainers understand what they see and feel better.”
Beyond the smart components, the Blue Infinite 3.0 is also noted for the high tech-composite tree designed for shock absorption, shoulder freedom and preservation of the spine. The saddles of the future, continued Goguet, will equally prioritize the horse.
“I think there were some good saddles for riders, but I thought we could do better for the horses. And if the horses are happy, I think we get better results,” he said.
Technology has optimized almost every other facet of our lives in the past decade. The creepily self-aware “Alexa” has been integrated into families. Robot vacuums have the same name as your dog. It’s not crazy to imagine how technology could evolve in the realm equine sport. So what do we expect within the next 10 years?
“I never talk about what’s next because there are so many new things that we have today! I think the health and fitness companion will be huge, because people are wanting to take more and more care of their horses. If you’re at the high spectrum of the sport, and you really want to compete, in the end all of these things can make a small difference,” said Goguet.
One thing is for sure, if Marty McFly ever rode a horse, you’d catch him in a Blue Infinite 3.0.