From Endurance to Dressage
Pivo Pod for Shows
I mentioned this in yesterday's post, but I used the Pivo Pod at a show this weekend. That little gadget is worth its weight in gold. If you're new to the Pivo Pod world, Pivo is a small device that enables your cell phone to track and record your movements. I've been using Pivo to record my rides for nearly two years. Last summer, I began using Pivo's Meet feature to take virtual lessons with Sean Cunningham, owner and trainer at STC Dressage.
It was Sean's suggestion that we try using Pivo at a show so that he could coach me virtually. According to the USEF Rulebook, Dressage Division Rule 120.5 regarding the use of Electronic Communication Devices, ... Electronic devices that transmit and/or receive information may be used in the stabling area and in warm up areas. Sean offered to coach me at the show with the Pivo, but instead of mounting it to the fence, he suggested I have someone hold it who could "force" it to track just me. I didn't know if it would work or not, but I was more than willing to give it a try. The difficulty is that Pivo will follow any horse that crosses its path unlike the much pricier version that works via GPS. Pivo doesn't care who it follows which makes it challenging to use in an arena where there is more than one horse.
Pivo recently stopped supporting Pivo Meet, the app that I had been using for our virtual lessons, so one day last week I had to download Pivo's newest app, Pivo+, and get familiar with its controls. We used it for the lesson on Saturday without any issues. I was pretty sure we could get it to work at the show.
The hard part was figuring out a way for someone to hold a cell phone for nearly an hour. It's fine to record one or two tests, but tracking a rider in a busy warm up for 30 - 45 minutes would get pretty tiring. While I was giving my friend Kathy a quick tutorial, we discovered that the simplest thing would be to hold the phone and Pivo Pod while they were mounted to my little tripod, which is how we ended up doing it.
Once we had everything hooked up, I launched the Pivo+ app, sent the meeting link to Sean, and waited for him to join me. I know it wasn't an easy job for Kathy, but we couldn't have done it without her. While Sean and I could hear each other perfectly through my earbuds (and he could mostly see me), she had no idea what was going on because she couldn't hear either of us.
Meanwhile, Pivo would suddenly swing left or right as it landed on the nearest horse. She would try to keep my phone pointed towards me, but Pivo would get a wild hair and look left and right. Since its field of view is pretty big, Sean could still see me, but Kathy couldn't tell. And even though I told her not to worry about any of it because Sean could take control of the Pivo remotely, she still worried because she knew how much stress I was feeling trying to keep control of the big brown monster. Kathy later quipped, if you can't impose on your friends, who can you impose on?
Once it was all over, we sat in the sun for some lunch and laughed about the whole thing. Not that it even remotely paid her back for her effort, but I gave her the swag bag show management provided to all of the competitors before I even peeked inside. I also brought lunch and let her choose which bag of chips she wanted first. That's just the kind of friend I am.
I am not sure how many other riders are using their Pivo Pod for show coaching, but it worked great! We will definitely be doing it again.
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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%: