It's something those of who live in urban areas don't really think about, but just like riding bicycles, driving cars, and walking around in the dark, horse riding requires low-visibility safety precautions.
Enter Tail Lights, a new product by wrangler, rancher, and search-and-rescue rider Sami Gross. It consists of a sort of long tassel that attaches to a horse's tail via specially designed neoprene and Velcro wraps -- and the tassel's fronds are strips of LEDs.
The idea began when one of Gross' friends, riding at night and wearing reflectors, was hit by a car, which injured her horse.
"Every day riders have to navigate along busy roads to make it to a trail," Gross said. "More often than not, and depending on the time of year, riders find themselves returning at dusk and back to the barn in the dark. Despite ineffective reflectors, and without adequate lighting, horses are often not seen by motorists until it is too late. Tail Lights will change the way we see horses, and their riders, at any time of the day... or night."
Gross has spent four years trying out different materials and developing Tail Lights. The biggest problem, she said, was making sure the lights were bright enough while maintaining a long battery life. The resulting product consists of six strips of color-changing LEDs attached to a unit that contains a CPU and battery pack, with enough power for 15 hours of continuous use.
There are also three brightness settings: low, for group rides; medium, for solo rides, bright enough to be seen from about a half mile away; and high, a brilliant yellow strobing pattern for emergency situations. For maximum durability, the battery and light cases will be sonically sealed for waterproofing, and the LED strips encased in silicone rubber.
Tail Lights are currently available as an early-bird reward for $160 for the single-color version, with a multicolored unit for $250, both estimated to ship in March 2014.
(Source: Crave Australia)