We are all, always trying to use data, or some app to help us track our horsey things. Conveniently, today’s world helps us out with smart phone apps that can do just about everything from tracking feedings, to tracking or tracing trails, and even smart phone lessons. The question that I am always struggling with is, “Is this app actually worth my time?” I often wish the reviews in the comments were by other horse people.
Below I have picked a horse related app to review for fun. Feel free to use the template to review your own horse related app, and who knows, maybe we could end up with our own database of the best reviewed/ most useful horse apps as recommended by horse people!
APP NAME: Equisense - Motion
APP PLATFORMS: Apple / Android
APP DESCRIPTION: This app collects data about the rider and horse through their Equisense Motion device that is attached to the horse’s girth. In many ways this app is like a fitbit for your horse, however, the app has many features that are useful even without shelling out the hefty 395€ or $490 USD. Because of its usefulness, I am reviewing the free lessons and horse data only.
Lunge the horse on a 15-20m wide circle. Vary the diamerter and the gait. If needed you can youse training aids (side reins, gouge…etc).
Let the horse work without the rider’s weight. Let the horse express himself more freely. Observe his “natural” locomotion.
When lunging we have the tendency to minimize the time spent at walk. It is as important as when the horse is ridden. Pay attention to the left hand/right hand ratio.
As you might imagine, this would be useful with the sensor, because you would have an accurate number on your horses flexion left/right. That is what the author of the lesson refers to when asking the individual to pay attention to left hand/right hand ratios. However, you don’t need a sensor to remind you of this.
I very much appreciate that this is app is chalk filled with free lessons to help newer riders, such as myself, or riders that might be burnt out, with lesson ideas. Often I have found myself performing an action with Jean-Luc but I am not always 100% sure why we’re doing it or what it will help. This provides focused ideas right in your pocket!
APP FEATURES CONT.
Free – The App itself is free. You can literally use every part of this app other than the sensor data without having the sensor. Many things you can even input manually.
*Reminder: the sensor will run you around $490USD.
(1-10 pts. | 1 = Not Satisfied | 10 = Extremely Satisfied)
APP OVERALL SATISFACTION SCORE: 8
I can't give this a 10 because I would need to utilize the full app. That said the parts that I am able to use I have trouble thinking of improvements.
APP USER INTUITIVENESS: 8
This app does a nice job of making it easy to add information about your horse. It doesn’t require a whole lot of thought / trial and error to figure out how to use it. The only reason the score isn't higher is that you do still have to type everything in, and that can be time consuming, especially because there are so many options in the health and care sections, you may enter one thing, and realize you would have rather placed it somewhere else. This is a simple learning curve, but nevertheless.
APP AESTHETIC: 10
Of all the apps out there this app’s one of the prettier ones to look at, in my opinion. It makes great use of font, white space, and reduces clutter. I have opened this app on both an iPhone and an iPad only to discover seamless flow between the two. Compared to what is currently on the market, this app's very easy on the eyes.
WHAT I WOULD CHANGE:
THIS APP DOES WHAT IT SAYS IT SHOULD: YES | NO
DO I PERSONALLY USE THIS APP (If yes, how long?): YES | NO - one week.
WOULD I RECOMMEND THIS APP TO OTHERS: YES | NO
WERE YOU ENDORSED IN ANY WAY TO WRITE THIS REVIEW? YES | NO
Snow has returned to forecast for the foreseeable future - LE SIGH! This did, however, make for the perfect opportunity to crack open Jean-Luc's new 1200 D/300 g fill Tough1Equine teal/brown turnout blanket. He has a sheet to get him through most of this winter, but why not try a blanket with some fill? I think it will make the guy comfier and stave off any end of season weight loss.
He was looking rather handsome if I do say so myself.
Things have returned to normal(ish) at work... and while I am thankful, it did make me sad that I don't have the copious amounts of daily horse time. But again, it isn't a bad thing to fall back into the normalcy of work.
As a West Virginia School Teacher, I have much to be thankful for #55United #55Strong.
9 days of civil disobedience
Tens of thousands of protesters
0 property damage
West Virginia teachers just taught the most important lesson of their lives side by side with citizens, and the entire world watched. Those things that we value most we must stand up for. It can be done with the utmost of integrity and civility. The winds of change are blowing over our beautiful hills.
If you're completely out of the loop with what just happened in my little, oddly shaped state, and without getting too "political," Seth Meyers had some fun breaking it down.
As always, #boldlyGO!
Jean-Luc and I have had the opportunity to really focus on things together lately. As you might have seen in an earlier post, I was a little down on myself for not being able to get this critter to gait as well as I know he can after nearly a year together.
I wanted to "be there" but the truth is, we just haven't been focusing on that particular skill. Honestly, looking back through this blog, our journey had us working on just moving. We needed to find success as a team before I thought we were ready to find any kind of success in regards to honing skills.
February has rocketed us to new places. I have shifted focus to movement under saddle. Personally, I needed this. I needed to grow in confidence with Jean-Luc to get us out of a rut. So, despite my usually meek and chicken-like brain, that is what we have done. For roughly a week I tried not to care so much about Jean-Luc's body position, speed, or head carriage. Instead, I wanted to pay attention to my seat, stopping, and just generally garnering a feeling of confident control.
It may seem a little counter-intuitive because I didn't care as much about all those micro movements above, right? What I mean is that I wanted to be able to sit on my horse and know that he wasn't going to toss me. I needed to trust him - and that is just what I did.
Thankfully, it leads to some pretty deep revelations:
A. When riding a pacey horse, they're going to also not be able to turn quickly in any direction because their legs are on the same side of their body. If they try they'll likely throw themselves off balance.
B. I know little about bits, but the Korsteel Uxeter Kimberwicke Liz recommended we try is really working out for us.
C. This horse (and let's be real most horses) just want a leader that is sure of themselves and can lead. Allowing the tables to turn works in favor for no one!
D. While most people recommend working a horse slowly from a walk into a gait, for Jean-Luc and me, we had better success coming down from a pace into the gait. I would say that it is likely because he's a little hot in general? Not sure.
E. Which leads me to this simple truth, "most people" have an opinion. You can listen to them, but who you should really be listing to is your horse. If you can hear, and more importantly understand what your horse is saying, then you're doing it right.
Here in these two videos, though, I did meet some lovely people through the Facebook group, The Natural Tennessee Walking Horse. I am always amazed by how much people just want to help. One person, a trainer out NC, seemed to have a similar training preference as me and offered to analyze a few videos of us if I'd send them to her - sweet deal!
I sent them over and in the first one, she noted how "we're almost there," but that I was allowing Jean-Luc to toss his head anywhere and not tuck his nose. She, like many gaited trainers, recommended if I could just ask for a little "not cranking down on his head," but a little tip in his nose that he would lift his legs up under him more and hollow out his back.
I am also learning to sit on a gaited horse, so forgive me if you see some wiggling, and legs that look too far forward. The thing is, if I centered myself and almost rocked back some, it seemed as if Jean-Luc moved better.
In the second video, I feel a little out of control. I would say that it has to do with the fact that we were in a small ring and not on a straight path (gaited practice really is easier when you're going straight). However, check out the difference when I ask him to tuck his nose and keep just a little pressure with my hands. I could literally feel him pushing with his hind legs - a new feeling altogether for us.
Snow is in the forecast for the next few days, but I can't wait to saddle up and continue this work!
Jean-Luc and I have spent quite a bit of time together this month. I have noticed, or well, agree with those who believe that a horse bonds with a person who makes them move their feet. We have really been moving our feet together quite a bit lately. Several of these images are post workout and I swear, he's smiling. Perhaps, he is starting to see me as his gym buddy? Who knows?
My name is Chelsey.
Generator's Cuevo Gold, or as he's known around this barn, "Jean-Luc Ponycard", was foaled in 2004 from Generator's Hurricane & Cheyenne's Little Bit.
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