If you are like me, you ALWAYS want to ride your horse after work. He or she is ready to leap out of the stall and you need to get your mind off work, like right now. After a relaxing ride, you end up coming home in the dark, like I do.
Almost hit again by a speeding car! And another screaming driver! Ugh.
I found out that the natural defense of the horse is for him to turn flat black at night; I think the only reason they can see each other is that white blaze on their snouts.
So just put a light on him; that will do it! But no, it didn’t.
Now motorists could see something, but what? Probably a bicyclist. They’re smart; they’ll get out of the way. Oh, it’s a horse!
Ted was getting very tired of the disrespect and started to throw a hoof at the cars. This was not going to end well if I was to come home via the road, my only path.
I’m sitting in the restaurant, lamenting to my beautiful, patient, wife yet another tale of a near-miss, when a child wearing blinking sneakers comes screaming past the table. Not only did it get everyone’s attention, but everyone was looking! Horse Sneakers? Well not exactly, but having a good background in electronics and one patent already, I knew I could come up with something, other than wrapping kids around horse legs.
Quick notes on a napkin, and in less than a week I had the electronics built. Then I had to learn how to sew to make a medium to carry my invention. Working for the cops for years as their senior police mechanic, I had a lot of knowledge of emergency vehicle lighting. The colors that work best in all lighting conditions are red, white and blue. Or so says Federal Signal, one of the country’s largest suppliers of light bars.
Plus, they’re downright patriotic. I was putting highly reflective tape on police car driver doors, because people kept hitting them when they got opened. So the leg wraps got waterproof, highly reflective tape to add an extra layer of “can you see me now?” added to them.
The very first time out, drivers were slowing down to try to figure out what in the heck they were seeing! I got the screaming-kid effect I was looking for! Ted was safe and drivers were taking videos, which beat having them hollering at me. Everyone was happy, including Ted; he seemed to enjoy wearing them.
When they were on his front legs I noticed he was riding with his head down lower than normal; he was using the light to see the pot holes. One thing led to another, and I made one for the farm dog that always goes for a walk with you and your horse. Next thing I knew I was getting orders from mounted police units across the country. I was teased that if I made one of the red lights stay on instead of blinking, they could do car stops. That would make Los Angeles car chases different!
And yes, LAPD does have our wraps, but they wanted them with white LEDs only so they got them in white, the only department in the nation that has them. Soon I found that a lot of horse products are either too small, too big or just don’t exist. Then out comes the napkin, and a new product is born.