Monday, December 22, 2014

tracking apps for riding

Let's talk about technology for a moment. To start, I read about an app on The Reeling last year and used it a handful of times in December 2013. So this isn't really a review, per se, as I haven't really used it at all since (plus the app has had at least a face lift - and probably other updates too since my last time using it...).  

But a couple bloggers recently wrote about tracking apps and technology (looking at YOU Equestrian Journey and $900FacebookPony!), and it reminded me how much I enjoy data. 

home screen

So essentially, I'm interested in getting a better grip on the numbers behind our rides, and am curious to know what's available to this end. Since I've only ever used EquiTrack, here's a quick breakdown of what this app offers. 

Isabel's profile from My Stable

There are a few different apps out there, and perhaps some of them are free (this one is not), but this is the one I have used. It's pretty straight forward: you create profiles for each horse you ride and for each new ride, you pick the horse and training program (or just click 'start' to default to 'freestyle'). Then get riding!

ride history


I never used any of the training programs so all my rides are categorized as 'freestyle.' This suits me just fine lol. This app tracks history for each horse's rides - with a quick view like above, and then you can go into each ride for full details. I'm not totally sure about the 'Energy' and 'MyCals' calculations, but the rest of it seems pretty neat. 

map of a trail ride

It also maps the ride using GPS. This can be pretty cool for trail rides... 


less useful map of an arena ride

But kinda silly for arena rides. All the same tho - it's cool to see exactly how many miles we traveled in endless sandbox circles lol. You can also tell from this arena pic that the GPS isn't always exactly spot on (no we did not jump the arena fence), but it seemed pretty close. 

(Also - I seem to remember that the gps could glitch a bit if I received an incoming call... not sure if that's an issue specific to this app, or anything relying on gps).


ride details

The full ride details view can be edited to note ground conditions, and there's a free-text notes section where you can type whatever you want. 

It also captures top and average speeds, and distinguishes between total time and ride time. I think the difference is the 'ride time' clock stops if you're standing still? Not totally positive tho... And again, the 'equi energy' and 'my calories' are based on some calculation that may or may not be dubious lol. 


continuation of ride details

The notes section is pretty neat - and this was where I tried to keep track of what we did in our rides in my pre-blog life... There are a couple real winners in there, like the time I noted that we even managed to jump a cavaletti in the arena going towards the gate without losing our minds!!! ... ahhh memories... Ooh, here's another fun time: 



yea idk what that dog walker was thinking either...

In any case, I definitely would like to get back into the habit of tracking my rides again - esp since I already have this app installed... but not quite sure how to reconcile it with getting people to take videos on my phone... maybe I need a second device??? lol #firstworldproblems


Do you use anything to track your rides? Is your app horse-specific, or more generalized? Maybe more importantly, does it work for you?

13 comments:

  1. Thanks for the reminder, I've been meaning to review the Course Walk app and totally forgot!

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  2. Ah this is cool! When Rico was in work, I used something called Time Ruler to create intervals to ride to (it beeps when you have to walk and then beeps again when you trot- very simple).

    However, my friend got a kick out of my use of a running app. It's this app that counts your steps each day and automatically detects when you're running and uses the GPS to record your runs. Except that I don't run, I ride horses. So she texted me a hilarious picture (it's social media so your friends can see your runs) of my "run" one morning when I was riding Rico in the ring. It basically looked like your arena ride darting all over a small area and it was a canter so the pace was unreasonably fast for a person. She said it looked like I had too much to drink and decided to sprint around my arena like a crazy person. Ridiculous.

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    1. haha that's hilarious about your friends seeing your gps map/stats with no context... i'd be confused too!!

      and interesting about the intervals feature! this app has something like that too, but i'm pretty sure i'd miss the beeps or buzzes lol...

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  3. I wish I could get Equitrack but I can't find it on my Android so I'm thinking maybe it's iPhone specific? Or maybe just phone specific since I'm using a tablet and not a phone.

    I have mine so it doesn't stop the time when I'm standing still because I want to know how long I'm on his back total, not just when we're moving.

    The tracks on the arena work is hilarious, but I love it anyway just so I know how many miles we've done. :)

    I can just minimize the app to take photos and stuff on my tablet. I'm not sure how these work on phones though since I don't have a smart phone...

    I'm glad you're getting back into tracking your rides. I love being able to track mine! :D These apps make it so easy too instead of how I was having to do before, remembering when we left and got back (or using time stamp on photos haha) and then tracking our miles in Google Earth. I'm so happy I found out that the GPS works on my tablet so I don't have to have wifi or a phone to track them. :D

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    1. Hm now that I think about it, it might be specific to apples... You app sounds neat too! I think there are just so many different apps out there and I want to try them all lol. The only problem w the camera/video thing is that if someone else is holding my phone to take video, it can't very well track my movement at the same time,.. Oh well lol

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    2. Hahahahaha duh!!!! Wow I had a blonde moment for a minute. :D Hubby uses his phone when he takes pictures of us and I use my tablet to take pictures while I'm riding. I guess that's why I didn't make the connection. :)

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    3. Lol yea having multiple devices definitely makes it easier!!! Maybe I should just get a better camera... ?

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    4. I'll use any old excuse to get a better camera hehehe. Too bad I can't afford to replace my dead one. :( Luckily I can borrow my mom's which is the same as mine but an older model. It takes decent pictures and hubby's phone actually takes really good ones. :)

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  4. I might give this app a shot! My friend that I usually trail ride with uses Track My Hack (which is actually made by Woof Wear) and it works really well for her. I tried downloading it on my phone, but it freezes up every time I try to create an account! Super frustrating :/ I really like to see the distance and speed of trail rides.

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    1. Huh that's so frustrating when apps don't work!! And yea I like seeing the distance/speed too

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  5. I use (and love) MapMyHike. It has a lot of the same features, and I have sworn by its brilliance for the past year. But. It is not horse-specific so if you ride multiple horses that's not great. I've also found, lately, that my "max speed" is so ridiculously off at times (gallop sets at 13mph? hm, no) that my boyfriend bought me an actual wearable GPS watch.

    But. I will still hold that MapMyHike is a good phone tracking app; the distance was reasonably consistent - even if it didn't always match to my friend's phone tracking the same ride. The average speed seems to have been fairly accurate, though again, comparing to itself and without a secondary to back that up. It's easy to use and shows realtime stats.

    That last bit was what sold me on the app, that and being able to dissect the individual ride into tiny segments to look at things. I like knowing how fast we've gone on average so we can adjust our pace accordingly. We're training for a 5mph+ moving average, so if we're at 3? I want to know *before* we get back to the barn and turn off the app, which TrackMyHack wouldn't let me do when I first tried it out last year.

    I promise to write a fullblown GPS-app post comparing the iPhone readings to my new GPS watch as soon as I get a few trail rides in to pull data from, and then I'll have a better review for you of both!

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    1. Oh yea - that one sounds really cool too! I like the real-time aspect of it, tho I *think* the equitrack app can do that too (you can stop the ride on the app to see stats, then resume) but I'm not sure that's the same thing.

      Anyway - definitely do a review! It'd be cool to see what it all looks like!

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