Simon is not just any horse. In fact, it is hardly a horse, despite its equine curves and the lustrous mane that covers the upper part of the neck. “It is an adult-sized riding simulator. A toy horse with all the power of a real horse and the temperament of an iPhone,” explains Zara Stone in a Article from Ozy.
The commercial name of the system developed by the British company Wimbledon Village Stables is Equicise. But Simon is not the only one of his kind. At the Tryon Equestrian Center in North Carolina they charge $ 100 for 30-minute sessions in their simulators. And another company of British origin, Racewood, already sells its simulators to countries as diverse as Japan, Canada and South Africa. “Their latest models use pressure sensors to measure the weight and balance of riders and transmit the data to a screen that offers real-time feedback,” explains Stone.
The main advantage of riding without a horse is the elimination of unpredictable situations that can complicate animal control. In this surprise-free scenario, novice riders can concentrate on improving their techniques without worrying about possible falls or the need to make the horse move forward. In addition, as the simulator is fixed, instructors can stay close and correct any aspect. In Racewood they present it as an intermediate step to gain confidence before climbing on the back of the live version.
At Wimbledon Village Stables, Equicise is offered as a training tool and also as a sports discipline. This kind of spinning Equestrian has the power to exercise the whole body, so that it is ideal for those who want to strengthen and tone.
A final key detail among the reasons that justify the existence of these growing herds of electronic horses is that those of flesh and blood are not going through their best moment. According to Stone, in 2012 a 35% decrease in the number of horses worldwide was determined.