Stable and trailer camera systems allow you to monitor horses both for health and for security.
By Natalie DeFee Mendik, MA
Camera systems for barn and trailer allow you to keep an eye on your horses when you can’t be by their sides, offering increased security and peace of mind. With user-friendly electronics now on the market, there’s no more wondering if everything is all right back in the trailer, at the showgrounds, or in the barn.
Whether a permanent installation or a portable system, a securely mounted camera will communicate with your smartphone, tablet, or PC. Features vary by design and budget; look for key points that address your needs, including high-definition streaming, night vision, audio, intercom, recording/saving capability, zoom function, and motion sensor.
New options in remote viewing have moved beyond the connectivity requirements of fixed wires and high-speed internet; portable systems even function without a Wi-Fi signal, including trailer cameras that link to a smartphone. Continuous stream allows for real-time monitoring, while playback function allows operators to view previous events. If you find managing tech challenging, many products come with direct customer support.
“Camera monitoring is great,” says Carrie Wirth, president of equestrian communications agency EQ Media. “There are quality services that will install the systems in and around the barn and in the stalls. These may require Wi-Fi and a router extender. Portable services can be moved easily and don’t require Wi-Fi for setup. Portability is a great feature for the active competition barn or racing barn. These products can be great for visual horse monitoring and for security. Horses have been saved from being cast and colic. If you combine a good camera monitoring service with an alarm system, that would be ideal.”
Wirth describes a stable monitoring system on the market in Spain that functions similarly to many horse health monitoring systems that aggregate data from each horse to create a baseline: “This product combines the best features as a surveillance camera that is viewable from your smartphone, but that builds an algorithm of the horse’s normal behavior in the stall,” she explains. “Any deviation from the norm triggers an alarm to the user. It combines its monitoring features with a stable management system. Artificial intelligence takes into account regular stresses on the horse, like travel and competition. It is an all-in-one monitoring system, horse wellness predictor, and stable management system. The alarm system is a bonus, but for the product to be as effective as possible, the user should actively use the stable management service.”
Imagine you’re lying in bed and you check to see that the horse who arrived earlier in the day has passed manure and is happily munching hay. Seeing that all is well, you settle in for a good night’s sleep.