Why Equilab is an Essential Tool for Equestrians

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Since 22nd March 2019 I have ridden over 70 miles with the boys, and spent over 20 hours in the saddle. How do I know this, because I have been using the free Equilab app to track my riding. I have been blown away by the data it records and have loved seeing other equine bloggers and vloggers share their experiences using it too; Roosa's Horsey Life, Tina Wallace - Life on the Left Rein and Inside Track Eventing to name a few.

What is Equilab...?

Captures your ride; just like having someone on the ground, it monitors the gait, beat, stride and distance of each ride. Breaks down walk, trot and canter paces by the second - and colour coordinates them - tells you how many miles you've covered and your speed. Yes, Ronnie and Oscar once reached in excess of 16 mph...not bad for Irish leisure horses in their teens. 

Tracks your progress; at the end of a ride, you can choose to rate the horse and rider performance, record the ground conditions and make notes. Alongside the information captured above, this allows you to compare training sessions and find patterns that work for you and your horse. Whether its fun, fitness, strength or conditioning there is a feature for it, simply select in the app; competition, dressage, eventing, gallop training, hacking...etc.

I have been concerned about the ground recently, the dry spring has meant some tracks we ride along are as hard as concrete and with Oscar's arthritis I am always aware of the negative impact this could have on his joints. Acceptable in August, but I am not sure how I feel about zero mud in April. For this reason I keep a close eye on the length of stride recorded in the app, just to make sure he isn't shortening. This gives me huge peace and just another tool in my box to keep Oscar sound, happy and comfortable, and I can't have too many of those.

Come home safe; kindly gifted to me and the only paid feature within the app, using GPS it shares your position live from the saddle with your chosen close ones, letting them follow you on a map. They know when you've finished a ride safely, and don't even have to download the app, you can simply add them from the contacts in your phone.

I predominantly hack, as I don't have access to a ménage unless I box over to a neighbouring village, so this is a feature I've really put to the test. I have found the maps to be 100% accurate and it's given me a confidence boost. My other half often says "text me when you're off" as I keep Oscar and Arnold privately, in reality it could take quite a long time before someone realised something was wrong if they didn't know my plans or location. It's a comforting feature and worth the subscription fee with a 7 day trail feature I'd encourage you to take full advantage of.

Organise your riding; plan and organise your riding and horse-care week by week. Add in the farrier, visits from the vet, competitions and rest days - my favourite - and if of benefit share this with your stable, yard or friends. These events can also be on repeat, for example if your horses have every Monday as a rest day.

A friend recently bought a horse back into work following a tendon injury, we weren't aware of the Equilab app at the time but this would have been the perfect tool to plan rehabilitation and recovery work. Not to mention a great place to keep a record to share with the vet at the next check up, rather than doing it by notebook or recalling from memory. Equally as useful when preparing for dressage regionals, or a one day event.

Connect to your team; anyone with the Equilab app that you are 'Friends' with can like and comment on your saved sessions. One of my friends said this feature had motivated her to start riding her horse more and I agree, you see your friends out hacking, training, schooling and think, yes I'll have some of that too, creating a fantastic community. It is also a smart way for trainers to check in with students in-between lessons.

Energy consumption; my rule is to 'feed a horse for the work he has done, not for the work he is going to do' and this feature helps us to understand whether our horse is in leisure, light, competition or hard work. By recording how many megajoules the horse burns, it estimates your horses daily feed requirements, a great tool to discuss with your equine nutritionist to ensure you're feeding correctly. It also records how many calories the rider burns, meaning the coffee and chocolate biscuit after riding is completely guilt free.

I have loved learning about how my followers use the Equilab app over the last month from comments on my Facebook and Instagram posts, Tina Wallace - Life on the Left Rein shared how fantastic it looked on her new Apple watch too. As soon as her bottom was in the saddle it vibrated and said 'Start Riding' so so clever!

There are also some fantastic initiatives that Equilab can support with at the moment, such as Your Horse Magazine's #hack1000miles you can officially sign up here. And MyHackathon in aide of The Brooke Charity, to ride 100 miles in 100 days. Click here to learn how you can raise money for the worlds most vulnerable working horses and donkeys.

Getting started couldn't be any easier, go to your app/play store and search; Equilab. Download for free and input your details, I opted to register with Facebook to make the process even quicker. Add your stable/horses and find your friends, enable the safety tracking with 7 days free trial and start riding...

Much love,
Gee Gee and Me.

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