From Endurance to Dressage
I haven't written about my Pivo Pod in a few weeks, so I thought I would give you an update. To start with, the Pivo Pod is the best $150 I have ever spent. For those who have never heard of Pivo, it's a small device that allows you to mount your phone on top so that, once you download the app, it tracks your movement. Even better, with the Pivo Cast app, you can do video calls for virtual lessons.
I bought the Pivo Pod Silver which is now being marketed as Pivo Pod Active, but there are a lot of other choices. I also bought the Pivo Travel Case Mini which keeps my Pod safe as I throw it in my barn bag each week. I also bought the Smart Mount which I've never used. I did not purchase the tripod because I already had a bendable, short tripod which I wrap about the top fence rail to mount my Pivo when in use. I prefer this method as it is much more secure than a traditional tripod; it can't get knocked over by the wind or a rogue horse ... cough, cough, Izzy.
My old iPhone 7Plus was getting old when I bought the Pivo Pod. I found that recording 30 - 40 minutes of video drained my battery, so even though I have a new phone, the iPhone 12 Pro, I use a solar charger to keep my phone charged while I record. Since I also use the Pivo Pod for virtual lessons, I also bought a pair of Powerbeats Wireless earbuds which were worth every penny spent. Using these earbuds during lessons allows Sean Cunningham, owner and trainer at STC Dressage, and me to hear each other perfectly.
Overall, my experience with the Pivo Pod has been nearly perfect. The issues I have had have been due to technology not associated with Pivo. My old iPhone couldn't handle the workload of the video call, so I replaced it. My trainer's connection gets slow towards the end of the month due to his lack of unlimited hotspot data, so we've had to do some lessons on his phone rather than his laptop. Otherwise, Pivo has been incredibly reliable for me.
Since my Pivo system has so many components, I carry everything in a drawstring backpack that I got long ago from the Riding Warehouse. I am pretty sure it was show swag; my friend Jen is awesome about getting sponsors for her shows. The backpack has been perfect because I can shove everything in it, slip it on, and still have both hands free to deal with Izzy as I carry everything from the barn to the arena and back again. Unfortunately, my trusty bag began to wear thin and needed to be replaced.
I remembered that I have an old sling backpack in my closet, so I dug it out certain that it would be the perfect replacement for the drawstring bag. It has a front pocket that was sized exactly right for my solar charger and two small pockets inside, either of which would have been perfect for my earbuds. With those two items safely stowed, however, it quickly became apparent that I could carry the tripod or the Pivo Pod, but not both. Serious disappointment ensued.
Not wanting to buy an expensive bag just to hold all of my Pivo Pod gear, I dug around on Amazon until I found an inexpensive drawstring backpack that was large enough to hold everything without breaking the bank. For $17.99, I was all in. While I have a huge pile of tote bags, backpacks, and other purses, my needs were pretty specific, and despite having every shape and size of bag, I didn't have the right bag.
This bag is precisely what I needed. There is nothing that I don't like! The drawstrings are much thicker than the ones on my RW bag; they almost feel spongy. There are also two handles on the top of the bag for carrying it in hand instead of as a backpack. Not only does everything fit with loads of room to spare, there are two water bottle pockets, a front pocket, and a small pocket on the inside, perfect for storing the little bag that holds my earbuds. After several weeks of use, I discovered the bag was something I should have bought a yer ago.
With horses, nothing is ever simple, but sometimes, you find an easy solution.
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%
2022 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2022 Show Schedule
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(*) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
2022 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
2 Scores/1 Judges/60%: