How to understand movement activity with Orscana?
Do you think your horse doesn’t rest overnight? Worried this may be a problem?
Just changed yards or stable, how is your horse reacting?
What affect does your schooling session have on your horse as opposed to hacking?
We all have 101 questions about what our horses do when we aren’t there, Orscana allows you to see what they have been up to.
Your Horse’s activity in the Orscana App
When you horse is active, Orscana logs the information whether that it is walking in the stable or trotting in the paddock. The Orscana app allows you to view a summary of that activity in a graph over the last month, the last week or the last 24 hours. When you synchronise, you have access to a pie chart that tells you exactly what the percentage of activity was over the last 6 hours or the previous night.
In what environment does your horse evolve?
The activity of each horse is specific to its character and environment. Depending on the context in which it evolves, the level of activity may vary significantly and it will be important to couple the data recorded by the Orscana sensor with the interpretation of its owner / groom / rider depending on the context. Indeed, a recreational horse does not have the same activity as a competition horse. As more generally, the activity of a horse in the box is to be interpreted differently than that of a horse moving in the field or paddock.
If your horse is training, all the workouts he can do during the week will necessarily affect his state of fatigue and therefore his level of activity once back in the box or paddock. Conversely, a horse that is not regularly requested for intense work sessions, will logically have a more linear activity, if the sessions imposed on him remain consistent with his physical abilities.
Understanding the changes in behaviour from night to night
Each horses activity is specific to the individual, its character and indeed the environment! Depending on what your horse has done during the day, the level of activity may vary significantly. For example, one of our riders reported that her horse had slipped coming off the horsebox, he was checked by a vet and given the all clear. The next morning Orscana showed that he didn’t lie down all night. It was put down to him being unsettled. The next night he didn’t lie down, the vet was called again and an issue was found and corrected. Without Orscana this would have gone unnoticed.
With Orscana, as an owner you are able to understand what your horse has been doing in the stable or out in the field.
Competition horses working hard have different levels of fatigue dependent on the amount of work that is done during the day. Over time you will see a pattern emerging, many of our riders can see just how tired their horse in the morning and assess their days work based on the levels of rest the horses has had.
Leisure horses tend to have much more regular patterns as their level of exertion is not at the same level as a competition horse.
How to interpret activity in relation to the physical condition of your horse
The quantity and quality of food can also mark a noticeable difference in activity. For example a horse kept in a box with little exercise may have more energy to get rid of than a horse turned out with supplemental hay.
There is no “good” or “bad” activity level, it is all down to the individual. The important thing is to understand your horse’s normal levels. By understanding this, you can then detect different behavior from the norm and be on the look for a potential problem.
For a competition horse, it is really interesting to compare the differences between a day with high intensity training and a day off – the nights activities are often very different! By understanding the nights activity, you can see how well or not the horse has recovered from its hard training session.
A stable or yard move? Here’s how Orscana can help
Your horse’s activity levels can also be related to a change in his/her normal environment rather than the physical. For example, a horse that has moved yard, a change in stable mate or being turned out for the summer will tend to have a higher activity level than the previous benchmark. In the scenario the activity is related to excitement or possible anxiety of the change until this becomes the new normal.
The levels of activity can teach us a lot more about our horse’s sleep, REM sleep is critical to our horses. This subject will be covered in our next blog post.