BY MICHELLE MAISONVILLE
You’ve probably heard of devices for humans that track calories burned, heart rate and steps taken, but did you know there’s now a similar device for horses?
Jessica Roberts, a Conestoga College graduate, was in her final semester of business administration – marketing when she had to work with a client for her applied marketing class. That’s when she met Peter Mankowski. At the time Makowski was working on Cleo Collar, a device similar to SeeHorse, but for cats and dogs.
Cleo Collar was intended to be used to track steps, calories burned, temperature, respiratory functions and the fitness level of the cat or dog it was attached to.
“When I was sitting there listening (to his presentation) I’m like, well, no wonder it’s not working for the dogs and cats, it’s perfect for horses,” said Roberts
“That’s your whole livelihood.”
When Mankowski heard Roberts’ idea of making it for horses instead of cats and dogs, he thought it was a great idea, and decided to set Cleo Collar aside. Together the two launched SeeHorse. Since then Roberts, who is the business development manager, has worked at bringing SeeHorse to life.
“Jessica was very persuasive … I never thought the horse industry was an opportunity to be successful selling to. Before I met her I never considered doing this for horses,” Mankowski said.
The device attaches to the horse’s bridle or halter, between the eye socket and ear, and sends the information it collects to the app on your phone through Bluetooth. There are three SeeHorse models, the SeeHorse Trot, the SeeHorse Canter and the SeeHorse Green.
The SeeHorse Trot is the most basic model. It tracks the horse’s steps, calories, movement and activity.
The SeeHorse Canter tracks steps and calories as well, but also tracks the horse’s heart rate, temperature and respiratory rate. It also has a movement function so you can monitor when the horse is walking or trotting.
The SeeHorse Green is the same as the Canter, but also has an energy harvester. This charges when the horse moves around so it doesn’t have to be taken off the horse to be charged, unlike the other models.
“There’s nothing like this in the horse industry yet, everything is really traditional and kind of old school so this is the first thing that’s kind of revolutionizing how people care for their horse,” said Roberts.
Although the devices are not currently available, Mankowski said they have over $50,000 in pre-orders. They expect to double that amount by the time the devices are ready for use, although Mankowski didn’t know when that would be.
Mankowski said they are also planning on branching into making these kinds of devices for farm animals as well, like milking cows.
“Now that people know more about SeeHorse we are receiving requests to build SeeHorse-like devices for agriculture,” he said.
Mankowski said the devices will be manufactured locally.
“This region used to have lots of manufacturing, now it’s gone … this is just my small attempt to bring some jobs back,” he said.
“I will register less profit for every device sold, but I want to create jobs locally.”