Horses are the dreams of many and the calling of few—and childhood dreams sometimes take a long time to come true.
When I was a small boy in the 1950s, Saturday mornings were spent sitting near the radio listening to the adventures of cowboy heroes and their remarkable horses. Roy Rogers, Gene Autry and the Cisco Kid were my companions in the imaginary saddle. It wasn’t until I helped a friend move to Idaho that the dream became a reality, and I entered a new world of horses. I took lessons, bought my first horse and began helping out at boarding stables of all sizes. Finally I became the barn manager at a breeding farm for Arabians and the real work and learning began in earnest.
Being a solo barn manager means you are the first and the last to see the horses every day. You are the first responder. Night time bed-check is time of quiet peace and occasional alarm. You train yourself to be observant—to notice anything unusual as the horses settle down for the night. You watch and listen for repetition, labored breathing, or a stance that seems out of place for a horse. Your phone is always on, battery charged, and vet’s number on the call list. When you finally turn in, you have done as much as anyone can—yet there are always doubts. Mornings are the same, but you still approach the barn and pastures with tension, always ready for something to go amiss.
The greatest fear of any barn manager or horse owner is that we have missed something that happened during the few hours that we ourselves must sleep. That is the time when we wish we had seen or heard what was going on.
When I first read about NIGHTWATCH®, I knew that the solution to the worry we carry with us finally has a solution. Although I have a technical background in computers, my horse knowledge is hands on. I immediately realized that the capabilities that this remarkable device possessed would give me exactly what I needed to prevent the heartbreak of discovering a horse who was in trouble or who had sadly passed on when I was absent.
Those of us who care for horses are first responders: our actions can save a life or minimize medical treatment and recovery time. With the help of NIGHTWATCH®, the first responder now has professional assistance at their side. Early intervention is now possible because unusual changes in your horse’s vital signs trigger alerts to both the horse manager and veterinary experts. Action can be taken before a crisis develops, which in turn prevent emergencies and minimizes the trauma to horse and caretaker.
I am drawn to NIGHTWATCH® because of the directness of its technical applications and the heart behind it. If you have a heart for horses, you will want to get this incredible device and prevent the pain and suffering that so many horse owners and caretakers have already been through.
Tom Brennan is a barn manager in SW Idaho who cares deeply about the horses he cares for. He is a freelance journalist for several publications and has several careers in his experience history, including museum curator, public administrator, sheriff's deputy and all around ranch hand.