From Endurance to Dressage
Last week, I wrote about the app, Equilab. I am now using it every time I ride. If you were interested the last time I wrote about it, go get it! It's totally worth the price. It's free, so even if you hate it, you're not out anything except a few minutes of your time.
Now that I've been using it for a full week, I have new data to explore. Some of it doesn't mean much to me, but one feature in particular is really telling. Right now, my favorite thing the app does is measure my time spent tracking left and tracking right. I don't know exactly how the app knows which way I am tracking, but it does seem accurate. In the image below, from April 8th, it's clear I spent more time turning right, twice as much time according to the app.
The next day, I paid much better attention and was able to even out my right and left turns. Whether the data is exactly right or not isn't as important as recognizing that I was working in one direction more than another.
When I looked at my trends for the week, my turns distribution was much more even. Had anyone asked if I work both directions evenly, I would have said sure, but since using the app, I've discovered that I might not be working both sides evenly.
Another trend I've noticed is that I don't spend nearly as much time cantering as I think I do. Ever since my endurance days I've logged either my miles or my ride time. During the week, I aim for rides that are 20 to 30 minutes long. I work full time, volunteer, cook, write, and do a lot of other things, so that's usually all I have time for. On Fridays, I might spend up to 40 minutes in the saddle. Saturdays are my longest rides because of my lessons, and Sundays will vary depending on how well I can implement what I learned from the day before. Even so, cantering is a much smaller percentage of my ride time thanI thought. According to the app, last week we cantered for about 13% of the time.
One limitation I've discovered with using the app is this: When I take a virtual lesson with Sean Cunningham, owner and trader at STC Dressage, I can't use the Equilab app because I am using the Pivo app on my phone to do the lesson. To use the Equilab app, you have to carry the phone on your person. My phone can't be in two places at the same time. I am looking forward to the next time that I ride with Sean in person because then I'll be able to carry my phone in my pocket which should give me some interesting data to study.
Another feature I really like is the ability to write a note describing the ride. For the ride on Sunday, April 16th, I left a note explaining why I only "rode" for 2 minutes and 18 seconds. Since I used the Pivo to record my ride, I turned on the Equilab app for the walk from the tack room to the arena so that I would get credit for the ride.
Right now, Equilab is running two different challenges. One is a distance challenge, which I am going to fail. Since I can't use the app during lessons or on days that I record my rides, I don't get credit for the miles ridden. It's not a big deal as I don't really care; it was more about having fun. The second challenge is from Horse & Hound, and it's about how many days a month you ride. I chose 20 as my goal, but that was before I realized I wouldn't get credit on lesson days or Pivo days unless I logged those 2 minute "rides" as we walk up to the arena.
If you need a bit of motivation or you're just bored with the same routine day after day, check out this app. It really is fun, and if used consistently, I really think it has the potential to improve your riding effectiveness.
If nothing else, it's fun to try and cover every inch of your arena in a color. I need to do more centerlines.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: