From Endurance to Dressage
An old friend recently turned me on to a new app, Equilab. It is free to download and use, or you can upgrade to Equilab Premium for a monthly or annual fee. Equilab is available at both the Apple and Google Play stores.
Up until very recently, I used Under Armour's Map My Run app which is very similar to Equilab but designed for running or cycling. It does a lot of the same things as the Equilab app, but Equilab has a ton of advantages. After inputting your own profile information, you can also enter data for each horse. And from there, the advantages of Equilab become very apparent.
What does it do?
The app has a number of useful features. Like the Map My Run app, it tracks your speed and distance, but Equilab does a lot more. When you start tracking your ride, you can select which horse you are riding and label the type of ride you are doing - there are 16 to choose from. The app tracks speed, tempo, transitions, stride, and elevation. It breaks down how long you spent at each gait and even allows you to rate your and your horse's performance.
The app's Home page has a "Feed" and a "Challenges" tab. From the Feed, I can scroll through to see all of my recent rides and the rides of my friends - so far just one. I can click each ride, mine or any friends', and see oodles of data along with a map of the ride. The app breaks down how long and how fast you rode at each gait.
It's obviously more fun to look at the map from a trail ride, but seeing my transitions in the arena is also very interesting.
On the "Challenges" tab, you can set up specific distance challenges for each month. I chose 50 miles for April, not that distances are what I train for anymore, but if I were still endurance racing, this would be very helpful. Another feature that the app has that might appeal to others is the ability to connect with friends. There seems to be a lot of things the app can do for you when you connect with friends. So far, I haven't explored that part of the app very much as I only have one "friend," so if you're already on, send me an invite.
How much data is there, and how accurate is it?
I think even the nerdiest of riders will like the rabbit hole you can go down once you open the app's Detailed Stats Analysis. There is a graph for speed, tempo, transition, stride, and elevation. After using the app for a week, I think it is pretty accurate although I did have some problems with the results from our trail ride. When we cantered on that ride, the app showed a cantering distance of 0.6 mile, which I know is pretty accurate, but the maximum speed didn't ring true. We weren't cantering. I was in two point, with a fistful of mane in my hand praying that no one spooked. It was a hand gallop.
The app showed our maximum speed at just over 10 miles per hour. I can run a 10-minute mile which is 6 miles per hour. Brooke, a triathlete who rode Speedy, is much faster than I am. On the last ride that I did with my friend Marci - a ride that was close to her endurance pace, Map My Run showed our max pace was 3:25 which is close to 18 miles an hour. For that 0.6 mile of trail, Brooke and I were moving MUCH faster than Marci and I had.
The app also had trouble finding us for the first 36 minutes of the ride. The second time I used the app, I didn't have a gap in coverage, and interestingly, our very easy canter clocked in at nearly 8 miles per hour which felt very accurate. I was collecting and sitting that canter. There is no way there was only a 2 mile per hour difference between Izzy's collected canter and his balls to the wall gallop.
With only having used the app for a week, I am not worried about lapses in coverage and don't consider that a negative. As we all know, user error accounts for most technological glitches. The first downside to the app, and it is certainly not unique to this app, is that you need at least a certain amount of cellular coverage as it uses GPS to track you. If you have poor cell phone coverage where you ride, you might be out of luck. The only other downside I can see to using the app is that you need to ride with your phone in your pocket which I don't regularly do. I did read that the app can track you with a compatible Apple Watch which would be much easier except I don't own an Apple Watch.
Right now, Equilab is free for the basic edition and $99 for Equilab Premium which offers a few other features. I am not one to buy apps. I think I paid $0.99 for an app one time, so free is my speed. After using the Equilab app a few times, I decided it would be worth purchasing it. Since it's free, it's definitely worth trying out.
Final thoughts: get the app, you won't be disappointed.
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%: