In a lot of ways, riding has stayed relatively low tech. There are really no substitutes for sitting on a real live horse, in a field, doing basically the same thing thousands (millions?) of people did hundreds of years ago. However, we are in an age where nearly everyone rides with a cell phone in their pocket, or at least nearby. (just check out those new USEF rules about headphones in the warmup ring!)
There are a lot of REALLY EXPENSIVE upgrade options that I would love to own, but cannot justify the price. A clinic or a Solo Shot? A show or a Equisense? Fun fact – the training will always win out. BUT I have found some free options that I am finding are really making a difference in my rides. Of course, neither of these things are horse-specific (or I am sure they would come with high price tags!).
Remember that nifty calendar from the beginning of the month?
Well, it came from Google Sheets. Completely free, completely editable, and, best of all, easily accessible to me on my phone. Why is that important? Because I am often in the saddle and completely at a loss for what was supposed to be on the calendar that day. I can pull up the calendar, check my schedule, adjust if needed, and get on with my ride… and all before my 10 minute walk warmup is over.
Now this one took a bit more research. For Christmas, I got a very inexpensive stopwatch. While the big, eventing watches are cool, they are also far too big for my wrist and tend to just roll around throughout a cross country course. A smaller, and cheaper, runners watch should do the same job, and just as easily.
So when I wanted to start timing the intervals of my rides, I pulled it out and set to work. And then I realized how much trouble it is to set up more than 10 intervals on a watch… Back to the drawing board. Then I figured, there should be an app for that!
(Pic of my absolute favorite eventing app, courtesy of my previous trainer’s instagram)
Eventually, I found “IntervalTracker” on the Apple App Store. It allows me to quickly and easily set up training intervals, and I can even set them to different noises so that I know when I am supposed to walk, trot, and canter, without interrupting my ride at all.
To decode this for everyone… a 10 minute warmup. Then it does an interval of low followed by an interval of high and repeats for how many sets you have. In this instance, you have 3 sets of trot with 3 minutes trotting and 1 minute walking. (Low is Trot and High is Walk). Then 2 sets of canter (Low is Canter and High is Walk). Then, I added one more set of trot (3 min trot and 1 minute of walk) before a 10 minute and 25 second cool down. Walk is a “Ding, Ding” noise, Trot is a single “Ding”, and Canter is a “Whistle”. All in all, this is working really well!
What about you? Are there any cheap (or free) technology upgrades that you use to make your rides and horse life better?
On a totally unrelated note, has anyone ever worked with a nutritionist? I have cleaned up my diet (more vegetables, no red meat, no added sugar etc.) and have been really, really struggling with feeling normal (lots of nausea, headaches, etc).
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wow look how cool you! LOL I am so old school it is not even funny. Re nutrition my trainer is a nutritional coach and helps people figure out how to eat clean and not feel ill doing it. I am sure there are online coaches or even local ones that can help!! Email me and i can give you Kattie’s email she would love to direct you to finding someone (she is a nurse too!). I love her and have done her nutritional training more than once (Need do start again)……..
Hahaha I am not sure how tech savvy I really am at this point. I ended up walking for almost 20 minutes last night before I realized that the volume on my phone was off and that’s why it wasn’t telling me to trot!
I do love my Equisense since I love data but it certainly isn’t a necessity. I just check my watch (fitbit) randomly when I think I’ve trotted for a certain amount of time but the interval timer is neat.
I’ve also been considering a nutritionist or dietitian (they are registered) but have been unsure where to start. I previously lost weight myself using a fitbit and myfitnesspal. I am happy with my weight now (and have been for over a year) but had a weird episode/sickness in January and since then have been lacking in energy and muscle strength. I have been wondering if I need to look further at my diet than what myfitnesspal is telling me. I do know I struggle with getting enough healthy fats in (I eat a lot of fat free cheese, yogurt, etc since it’s low calorie) so I’ve been increasing that with nuts but getting frustrated since my doctor was about no help (ran tests, they were normal, told me to eat healthy and exercise….thanks). Hope you are feeling better soon!
Yeah – I mean the weight loss is a great side effect of proper nutrition (and something I am working towards), but I have really just been struggling with the “Feeling Good” part of the whole equation. If I end up meeting with a nutritionist – I’ll add it into the blog for anyone that is curious.
Yeah feeling tired and crappy is not a good time. Going to your regular doctor for some blood tests is always an option too. Maybe yours could even suggest a nutritionist. All my tests were normal like I said so it didn’t help me much but did reassure me a bit that nothing too crazy is going on. Good luck!
Horse Notes for record keeping. Not perfect, but does a good job. They have apps for iOS and Android as well – and they’re free! http://horsenotes.co
I really need to do a better job of record keeping… It’s embarrassing to admit that I really rely on my barn, farrier, and vet to keep it all taken care of.
Oh this is great! I am absolutely going to keep this in mind for when Amber and I get back into it! This is super nifty. I will need this in the future.
It’s been really helpful. It’s amazing how I feel myself thinking “That should’ve been 2 minutes”, and I look and its only been a minute and 15 seconds…
Hahaha right?! That cheap watch I bought has been great because what feels like 5 minutes has only been like 2….lol
I’ve worked with a nutritionist and my cousin is now a nutritionist. I used to love my old $10 target watch for Trot/Canter sets. You would set the timer to 5 min, 10 min, 15 min, 30, min (I used to use it for practicing my trumpet when I was a kid) and it would beep when you were done!
I was using a cheap watch and… basically just struggled with it. I got it because the HUGE eventing watches are just too big for my wrist. However, I think it would be perfect for more simplistic workout and at events. <3 cheap watches hahaha
A lot of riders I follow on Insta got the Equisense for Christmas and I am kind of jealous. It looks so cool. I would also love a SoloShot, or a Pixio, but no thanks to the $1000 price tag.
Yeah! Both are things I would LOVE to have, but there are so many things I actually NEED hahaha
I LOVE SmartBlanket — it’s probably my favorite equestrian app ever, lol
I should try that one!