Edited Press Release
Ever stand outside and wonder what blanket your horse should be wearing? What about when the temperature changes rapidly and sporadically? For Mireille Morshead, keeping track of the weather and staying on top of her 5 rescued equines’ blanketing needs was a constant struggle.
The story of Morshead’s idea for the Happy Horse Forecast™ mobile application begins in the early months of 2023 in Upstate New York. Checking the weather tends to be tough for equestrians to grapple with sudden and unplanned changes.
For Morshead, this meant using a forecast for the nearest town 3 miles away and 300 feet closer to a river than where the farm was located. She found herself checking forecasts throughout the day, along with radar, plus calling her neighbor. The neighbor in this instance being 2 miles away with a different topography – but at least this neighbor had lived in the Upstate area her whole life and had developed a knack for predicting the area’s weather.
Additionally, Morshead’s horses are not ones to keep any blanket or covering clean or “rip and hole free,” making it difficult to keep the horses adequately covered. Deep into the winter months, she had to find a 3 day window above 50° F to wash, dry, patch and get blankets back onto the horses before the temperature dropped again.
“I walked out of my barn and said to myself, ‘Why isn’t there an app for this? Something I can pull up on my phone and see the weather at my specific location and have a reference of which blankets my horses are going to need,'” said Morshead. Out of this an idea was born.
This was the beginning of Happy Horse Forecast™.
The Happy Horse Forecast™ is easy to use. The horse owner inputs the exact location where they want the weather forecast and the 5-day forecast aids the user in planning ahead for blanketing. Happy Horse Forecast™ does not track the phone it is loaded onto and does not track your horse either. It simply gives you the forecast for a specific location of your choosing. With the ability to alter the location of the forecast without changing the default locale, the app can be used for traveling to shows or camping. It is essentially a mobile blanket forecast and a weather station for your horse!
“Of my two horses, one is a big Missouri Fox Trotter mare that insists on standing outside in the rain. Considering she arrived full of rain rot, I felt I owed it to her to have not only cured it but to keep her comfortably covered so that she can continue her love of standing in the rain,” said Morshead.
Learning all about blankets, when to switch coverings, what is waterproof and when the flies emerge to bite was at the crux of developing the Happy Horse Forecast™ app. Morshead combined this research with blanket manufacturers’ guidelines and veterinary recommendations to create the icons’ “color key chart” (pat. pend.). This triggers the blankets to change colors according to the “feels like” temperature in the forecast. She also created a Fly/Mosquito coverings alert coded for their life- cycle (pat. pend.). Her last task was to make the icons “clickable” so the user can see which covering each icon’s blanket color is suggesting.
As Morshead progressed deeper into the details of the app’s development, she came to realize more and more how it could help others.
“When I first had the idea, I got all excited to have a place where people could input information about their specific situations and variations in their horse’s needs, and that place would provide a customized real time daily and 5-day forecast,” said Morshead.
“As I researched more, I found that this was going to be too difficult and costly for me to accomplish. Still, I knew there was a need to be able to customize this app to make it more personal. Consider someone like me who has donkeys in a freezing winter environment, or an older horse that has different blanketing needs than a younger clipped show horse or perhaps it rains when there is a 20% chance of precipitation in the forecast where you live.“
Without giving up, Morshead came up with the “Personal Portal” where the user can adjust the markers that change the blanket colors in order to suit their specific needs. Morshead is also working on the addition of a radar feature, an equestrian colleges portal and a barn portal to view multiple horses’ needs.
“I think the hardest part is the waiting. I have heard it is going to explode and I know it is a great idea. I have had it confirmed by 19 out of 20 equestrians that they love it! I put the patents pending, trademarks and copyrights in place and I am waiting for the subscriptions to start rolling in so I can start doing good things to help others and give back.”
Along the way, Morshead will use profits from the subscriptions to donate to 501c3 horse rescues, as well as finishing what was started on her own Upstate NY MoJo Valley Farms – a 501c3 rehab for horses and their humans. “We are responsible as their rescuers, their keepers and their friends to do what we can to keep them happy. I hope this Happy Horse Forecast™ mobile app. helps everyone’s equine friends live healthy, happy lives in whatever weather comes their way.”
Each quarter, a portion of profits will be donated to a different horse rescue organization. The first donation will be sent to Peaceful Acres Horses in Pattersonville, NY(https://www.peacefulacreshorses.com).