LOADING horses can be a dangerous business but two Co Wicklow secondary school students believe they have come up with a system that promises to calm nervous animals and greatly reduce the risk of injury to either man or beast.
Dylan Cryan and Sean Kavanagh brought their invention to the BT Young Scientist and Technology Exhibition in Dublin this week.
Their teacher Julie Corrigan said: “Both Dylan and Sean have farms in the family and they noticed that, a lot of the time, the horse was resisting being loaded and there was a risk of human and equine injury during the loading process.
“They’ve invented a machine to help load the horses and limits human interaction as much as possible by using a metal bracket. They entered the competition last year with the same project, but they’ve improved it massively this year by using a pulley and crank system, and that’s made a huge difference.”
There are two other equine-related projects in this year’s Exhibition, which ends today in the RDS.
Co Clare student Shauna O’Kane investigated whether using a bit rather than a hackamore leads to discomfort for a horse, and the impact this has on their performance, while Hollie Smith from Lisburn carried out a study on the use of charcoal supplements in horse feed and its potential to prevent hindgut acidosis.