From Endurance to Dressage
I'll be honest. My first attempt to use the Pivo wasn't all that successful. I had practiced at home, I was familiar with all of the buttons, but it still lost me. I wasn't too worried about it though as a device like that has to come with some sort of a learning curve. There are just so many variables besides the settings on the app itself. I have a dark horse, a dark arena, deep shadows, bright light, and so on. So, I took everything back home and did some Google searching.
There is a ton of information out there about Pivo. The Facebook group is a good place to start as it's run by the Pivo peeps. Rather than do a bunch of trial and error myself, I took the time to read a few articles which explained each setting. That's how I ended up with the settings listed below. Why waste time trying out different settings when someone else has already done it?
After watching Pivo lose me for thirty minutes during my first attempt, I did some research and discovered that I had one setting in particular set incorrectly for my purposes - the predictive follow. Turn that sucker off. It does NOT do what you think it should do. In the end, I discovered that the optimal settings for working in an arena are as follows:
For my second go at using Pivo, it worked as perfectly as it could. As I was watching the recording that evening, I was suddenly looking at Izzy's midline and legs. Based on the position of his body, I am 99.9% sure my GorillaPod - the bendable legged tripod that I am using by wrapping it around the fence, must have slipped. I am not surprised as it actually did a pretty good wobble as I was setting things up. Outside of that little bit of use error, the Pivo tracked me nearly perfectly.
I had positioned the Pivo at "E" on the top rail of the fence which is a good six to eight feet from the edge of my dressage court. This worked great because I do touch "E" when I am riding, but since the Pivo is set back, we didn't fill the screen completely. And actually, with auto-zoom turned ON, you can hardly tell which screenshots are from close up and which are from the "A" and "C" ends of the arena.
I was also pleasantly surprised with how well my phone picked up my constant chatter. I talk quietly to my horses the entire time I ride, particularly to Izzy. On the video, I can hear lots of nope, nope, good boy comments. I have a lesson this afternoon, so I am really curious how well it will pick up my trainer's voice. She's usually pretty loud, but I don't want her to have to stand next to my camera the whole time.
Overall, I am really pleased with how well the Pivo worked. I did have that glitch near the latter half of my ride, but I know that was completely the fault of the user and not a reflection of Pivo's abilities. It's hard to video when you're pointed at the ground. For what it's worth, my trainer frequently can't see what she's filming either, so I tend to get a lot of shots of the dirt. It's hard to video and teach at the same time.
After just a second use, I am completely satisfied with the Pivo and have no regrets. From what I've read others say, it does sound as though the Pivo likes iPhones better than Andoid phones, and the newer your iPhone, the better. I have the iPhone 7 Plus, but it is at least three years old. I keep the iOS updated which I've read helps. I have also read that phone and app updates can make things worse instead of better, but I think the Pivo peeps work out kinks as quickly as possible.
I don't plan to use the Pivo for every ride - I don't have time to sort through that much video, but I do plan to use it for lessons and at least a couple of other times a month. I know that Pivo can be temperamental - see above, so here's to hoping it likes following Izzy and me around.
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
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%