Saturday, May 12, 2007

What's the Antithesis of Natural Horsemanship? Meet No Horsemanship: Robotic Horse Training on a Sanitized Track

Call this the round pen backlash. Or high technology's answer to the average human's inability to train a horse. Several sources on the web have pointed me to a web site for what appears to be an Eastern European group that is promoting horse training systems that remove the influence of humans from the conditioning process.

Did you ever wonder what Disney World did with ride parts when they go through periodic renovations?

Kurt Equine Systems of course would appeal to a trainer who has more horses than exercise riders. Or someone who needs to condition multiple endurance horses but simply does not have the time to get them all ridden. There are also problems with weather and reliable help and many other variables in training that can make you dream of a "system" that would get all the horses moving and know when to quit.

Watching this video, I thought I was in a bizarre futuristic equine science fiction film. Dr Who goes to the racetrack? But the racetrack has been sanitized, and the only people in sight are in the control room--or are those robots, too?

The web site promo doesn't give many details; it tells us that these systems work for either horses or camels, so that is a broad hint to me that this prototype has been installed in the Middle East, possibly in Qatar, Saudi or The Emirates, although I think if it was in the UAE I would have heard about it. Someone would have called me from the World Cup back in March and said, "You MUST see this!"

I present this to you only as a wonderment. No comments, just wonderment. I knew when I posted the video of the Seawalker system for hoof rehab that someone would have to top it. And this is way over the top!

Link to individual video clips of horse monorail and robotic training systems.

For the time being, I think exercise riders still have job security but if Todd Pletcher's string gets much larger...