Thursday, March 15, 2018

Playing With Tech

Although we're still drying out from the unexpected snowstorm Sunday, we did get the arena dragged Tuesday night, meaning it was perfect for me to ride last night.
Is it weird to drag the arena at 9:30 at night? Asking for a friend...
On my quest to alternate working the girls, that made last night Cinna's turn. It got off to a not-so-auspicious start right away, when I had to slog through ankle-deep mud to catch her. When I was trying to maneuver her through the barn door while leaving Jack outside, she pulled away and took off back to the far side of the turnout, soaking her lead rope in mud. I caught her again, got her through the barn, then swapped her mud-soaked lead rope for a clean one.
"Who, me? No, I'm an angel!"
I was attempting to fill a bucket of water to soak the filthy lead rope in, when she spooked at a feed bag and took off again. By this point I was mumbling choice words under my breath about auctions and dog food and glue. On the plus side, any lingering concerns I had about a possible lameness after the frog abscess (and then subsequent mud) were laid to rest as she merrily trotted and cantered all over the property, sound as a dollar. I finally corraled her in an empty turnout and caught her for the THIRD time, swapped out another now-filthy lead rope AGAIN, and debated the merits of just putting her back and going inside to collapse on the couch (for some reason this year DST is kicking my ass and I'm insanely exhausted). I was starting to get pretty frustrated, and she's not the kind of horse I can ride when I'm already annoyed.
The teeny dogs are exhausted too.
But I persevered, and after a quick refresher of lead rope manners (aka yanking it out of my hand to gallivant is NOT okay), Cinna and I headed over to the grooming area. Which was covered 2 inches deep with standing water. I sighed, envisioning another explosion about standing in the puddle, but she splashed right into it and stood without batting an eyelash. Win! We tacked up, and I decided to try her in Ruby's PS of Sweden knockoff and Verbindend. I had to put it all the way up on every hole, and it was still maybe a smidgen too big, but we made it work.
Cute, huh? :)
DH still wasn't home at this point, so I tossed her out on the lunge for a minute. I wish I were better at simultaneously videoing and lunging, because she was doing the most ridiculously cute little hunter canter, poking along with her neck stretched out. Not a single bolt, scoot, or hint of dramatics of any kind. Which made me highly suspicious, except she had done a lot of running away from me dragging a lead rope, so maybe she had just worn herself out.
Never too worn out to giraffe, apparently.
I wanted to use the ride to test out an app I downloaded called Equilab (or as I'm jokingly calling it, the poor man's Equisense). I turned it on, and started riding. Between the pre-ride gallivanting and the lunging, I figured I wouldn't ride very long.
Spoiler alert: I was right. I didn't ride long, haha. I also don't think it's canter tracking was terrible accurate.
I spent the first half of the ride working on centerline and halting. Sometimes Cinna halts very nicely. Sometimes she gets very angry about it and roots the reins out of my hands. Sometimes she flings her head straight up. The last two are more common and less fun. I concentrated really hard on setting her up for the halts and asking very quietly, and whaddya know -- when I was quiet and methodical about my request, she was quiet and methodical about her response. Funny how that works!
Hypothetically with more rides tracked, I'll be able to track trends!
We did do some trotting and a few circles of canter each way. She had trouble picking up the left lead the first time I asked, but was fine on subsequent transitions. I was ready to end on a good note, but on our last canter-trot transition, she spooked hard at DH, who chose that moment to step out from behind the tack shed into her line of sight. Pretty sure staying with her as she teleported across the arena undid all the good work my chiropractor did at my adjustment on Monday, but I'm gonna give myself a pat on the back for not eating sand. So of course I asked her to canter again, so we could redeem ourself with a nice transition to end on.
No idea why it didn't record any elevation, wonder if it will on future rides?
Since DH was standing there anyway, I cajoled him into accompanying us on a field walk, since the last one was so disastrous (leading to me having to dismount and handwalk her back). She was great on the way out, and much more manageable on the walk back. Having DH there as her security blanket made her much more brave. I think we'll try that a few more times before I attempt it alone again :)
Once she was cooled out, we walked back over to untack, while DH shoved her full of candy canes. Of course she promptly rolled in the mud as soon as she was turned back out, but with our current forecast, she's probably going to get a few days off due to rain anyway, so whatever.
Im not sure why it designated my arena as a paddock (maybe based on the fact that I chose medium footing?), or why it thinks my arena is a triangle..lol
I also finished up making notes in Equilab -- it has a neat feature at the end where you can rate yourself and the horse on a scale of one to five (in terms of mood), track what kind of ride it was (flatwork, dressage school, endurance ride, etc) and also make notes. I used the notes section to write about what tack I used, and anything else I thought was notable from the ride. I also added a profile for both Ruby and Cinna, so I can track their rides and see if it notices differences or trends. I just shoved the phone in my breeches pocket last night, but for future rides I plan to use my horse holster. I also want to download an interval training app (thanks Nicole for that really good post!) so I can get a better idea for
Equilab's accuracy in terms of time spent in each gait. Obviously with only one ride under my belt with it, I can't make any claims to accuracy or long-term usability, but for a free app, I have no complaints. Even if I just use it to make notes about how often I ride each horse, for how long, and use the notes section for reminders, it'll be useful. 

21 comments:

  1. That's pretty cool! I'm still anxiously (and not at all patiently) awaiting the shipment of the Seaver stuff, so it's tempting to play with that in the meantime.

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    1. Yeah I am dying for an equisense after seeing all the fun blogger posts about them, but when I jokingly mentioned it to my husband his reply of "a glorified horse Fitbit costs HOW much?!" made me take a step back on that 😂 so in the meantime, I'll keep playing with this free alternative.

      Do you have any idea when you'll be getting the Seaver stuff? I vaguely remember you posting about it, but seems like it was a while ago!

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    2. They asked for confirmed shipping addresses like a month ago, so hopefully, I dunno... within the next six friggin months? It's been almost two years I think. Or it feels like it. But if that's what it takes to make sure it works right, especially since it has the heart rate monitor feature (which is the whole reason I bought that one instead of Equisense) then I'm ok with them taking forever.

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    3. Yeah I got nosy after I replied to your comment and it looks like you posted about it in July of 2016 -- but asking for confirmed shipping addresses sounds like a positive step! I can't wait to hear what you think about it 🙂 I think the heart rate monitor sounds worth the wait, especially for an eventer.

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    4. Yeah that's literally 90% of the reason I ordered it. Hopefully it works. I downloaded Equilab though just for funsies, I'll play with it today!

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    5. Yay! I can't wait to hear what you think about it 😊

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  2. Oh, I am totally going to play with this ap now! Way to stick with your teleporting baby horse... it sounds like she was totally full of it. My horses lie about being tired on the lunge line, too, and I always feel very betrayed.

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    1. She is always, 100% of the time full of it 😂

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    2. I am glad mine are only full of it most of the time. I don't know if I could handle a Cinna, though she is so pretty <3

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    3. She definitely isn't for everyone! 😂 But she's turning out pretty much how I expected when I planned the breeding. Her mom matured really slowly so the baby shenanigans even as a coming 6 year old isn't shocking to me. I think by the time she's 8 or 10 she'll be a damn nice horse, we just have to not kill each other in the interim 🤷 it helps that she's never mean about it -- she wants to do the right thing she is just sometimes to energetic and immature to figure out exactly what the right thing is, lol.

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  3. Glad she got most of that naughty out before you got on! Good for you for getting on despite the frustrations in the beginning.
    Seems like a neat app!

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    1. I really waffled on riding her, but I'm glad I did. I'm also glad I lunged her first to make sure most of the residual naughty was gone 😉 haha.

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  4. I am definitely downloading this and then comparing Equilab to the Equisense. ALso I really, really, really HATE muddy lead ropes. I used to use a different lead rope in the winter that I left in my trunk because I HATED touching the muddy one on Ramone's gate.

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    1. Ooooh, great! I was hoping some equisense people would download it and compare. I don't have high expectations in terms of accuracy (since ya know, it was free), but I'd be interested to see how they compare!

      And yes, muddy lead ropes are the bane of my existence. Hate them. Will not touch. Gross.

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  5. I downloaded the app after I saw that you used it and I really liked it! Can't wait to track trends now (and also need a cell phone holder while I ride)

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    1. I very much recommend the horse holster! (I need to review mine). I've been using mine for over a year (maybe two at this point?) and love it. You can get a "factory default" one super cheap, I bought spares!

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    2. Good to know - thank you!

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  6. I can't wait to hear more about this app and will have to DL it myself. Tho my riding lately has been stupid limited lol

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    1. The more the merrier! I really want people with the equisense to download it and compare, but I think data from anyone is useful! I'm really enjoying it, and the app creators are SUPER responsive to communication via their FB page, so if you have questions or suggestions, definitely reach out!

      But boo for limited riding time. At least spring is alllllmost here?

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  7. Lol naughty mare for running away!! She must have thought she was so clever lol. Sounds like a really nice ride tho! And neat app!! I heart all that data stuff haha

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    1. She was pretty proud of herself, the little shit 😂 yeah I'm enjoying collecting data, will see long term if any good comes out of it!

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