Performance-tracking gadget has real horse sense

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Balios is mounted on the saddle, and displays data on a paired mobile device(Credit: Equisense)

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It was just a few days ago that we heard about SussMyBike, a monitoring device that shows cyclists how their mountain bike is performing. However, what if you ride a horse instead of a bike? Well, that's where Balios comes in. It's a gadget that tracks the performance and health of your trusty steed.

Developed by French startup Equisense, Balios is attached across the girth of any saddle, and is intended mainly for use during training sessions. As your horse is put through its paces, the device measures factors such as gait, movement symmetry (including lameness), cadence, speed, stride length and jump trajectory.

All of that data is transmitted by Bluetooth 4.0 to an app on a paired iOS or Android smartphone, where it's combined into a training report that can be analyzed by riders, coaches or veterinarians. The device can also be used offline, storing data onboard and then later transmitting it to a phone for processing.

From there, users can decide what riding areas need to be worked on, plus they'll be alerted to any fatigue or injury that's been detected in the horse.

Balios itself is waterproof, shock-resistant, and can operate for up to eight hours on one charge of its battery. It's also currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, where a pledge of €139 (about US$151) will get you one, when and if it reaches production.

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