I have been trying out the Equilab app, mainly because it’s free, so why not? It is also fairly easy to use, although data from my first attempt at using it should probably just be deleted because I did not enter in rider and horse weight accurately — it was set on kilograms and I was entering in pounds. So for the first ride I guess the app must have thought I was a sumo wrestler on an elephant.
The app also asks for equipment weight, which I totally just guessed at. You can enter in different horses and facilities, too. And you can set units of measurements for other things, like mpm and distance — do you want to use miles or kilometers? I left it as mpm because that’s how jumper class speeds are indicated and I’m used to it.
Last night, I decided it would be beneficial to have video of a ride tracked in the Equilab app, to see how well the app tracks what’s going on. I didn’t ride for long and didn’t track the part of the ride we spent walking around in the fields that are currently covered in wildflowers. But the app seems fairly accurate as far as whether and for how long we were walking, trotting, or cantering.
The app also tracks turns, how much of the ride is spent at each hand, and energy consumption. Energy consumption for the rider is in calories, and energy consumption for the horse is in megajoules — this makes sense to me since horses are fed by weight, not calorically. This is probably also the most suspicious data point to me, because it really can only be an estimate.
The app also discusses the nature of the energy consumption estimates and whether a feed program should be based on the data gathered by Equilab — just sort of a cautionary paragraph on it, i.e., don’t do that without professional input. The app tracks all this data over time, so if I use this regularly, I could have a pretty good sense of our work patterns and possibly the energy consumption, too.
Which by the way — this is your data, but it is also Equilab’s data. Equilab knows where you are and stores all of this data on you and your horses and rides for you. If you aren’t comfortable with an app tracking your whereabouts, don’t use this. (Or really don’t use the internets haha)
GPS is powerful these days, huh? No, I did not actually leave the ring at the canter, but it’s not all that far off. The app most definitely captured how much time I spend working off the rail as opposed to on it.
As far as comparing the video to the app data, it seemed mostly accurate. I have no idea how the app tracks stride length, but it does!
And Eli’s trot step is 7′?
So the data is imperfect, but for the most part a lot of it is very useful and close enough to accurate for me. If nothing else, you can see if you are working equally on both hands. Right away, this app makes me think I need to canter more. At the same time, I don’t think I would use this app for every single ride, but I can see using it once or twice a week just to check in on the data points I care about.
We would rather just walk around in the field, though. I am interested to see how the data plays out when Eli and I school over fences.