Engineering Student Invents a Water Monitor for Horses

Drinking Water

When a horse’s water consumption habits change, that can indicate a potential health problem. And if a horse stops drinking enough, it can lead to serious health risks like colic. But in certain situations it can be hard to monitor how much water a horse is consuming.

That was the inspiration behind Cornell engineering student Caitlin Parrucci’s invention, which was recently awarded a $5,000 Student Business of the Year Award fro Entrepreneurship at Cornell.

When one person takes care of a few horses, they’ll pretty quickly recognize each horse’s normal water consumption habits and know if something’s off. But at larger stables with multiple caretakers refilling buckets and troughs throughout the day, it’s not as easy to spot trends and changes. That’s where Parrucci’s invention comes in.

The device weighs how much water a horse drinks per day, and alerts the owner when there are significant changes.

Parrucci, currently completing her Master’s in Engineering, was a member of Cornell’s equestrian team beginning in her freshman year. She’ll use the team’s herd at Oxley Equestrian Center to test prototypes.


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Leslie Potter is a graduate of William Woods University where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Equestrian Science with a concentration in saddle seat riding and a minor in Journalism/Mass Communications. She is currently a writer and photographer in Lexington, KY.Potter worked as a barn manager and riding instructor and was a freelance reporter and photographer for the Horsemen's Yankee Pedlar and Saddle Horse Report before moving to Lexington to join Horse Illustrated as Web Editor from 2008 to 2019. Her current equestrian pursuits include being a grown-up lesson kid at an eventing barn and trail riding with her senior Morgan gelding, Snoopy.


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