By Joanna Byrne
Finding a good app to track speed and distance while riding has been an effort of trial and error, fortunately as our smart phones have gotten more advanced the options have gotten better. One of the apps that I have been trying out Equilab by Schvung Ride AB. It is pretty in depth, and has lots of options, and is available on Android and iPhone.
Rider profile is pretty straight forward, with name, gender and weight. A profile picture can be added and that pretty well sums it up. Nicely if you go into settings you can link it to your Google Fit account, which is handy because I can tell you that Google Fit usually thinks I’m riding a bicycle when I ride my horse.
Horse profiles are a little more in depth than rider profiles. You can edit photo, registered name, nick name, main discipline, type, breed, weight and date of birth, as well as ad multiple riders to each horse. For each horse there is a Trends tab where you can swipe through several graphs of information over weekly and monthly windows.
In the Stable Profile, found on the rider page, you can add your stable and the GPS location. Unfortunately this seems to be a buggy part of the program and I could not get it to cooperate to take screenshots of the options. After a few weeks of use this seems to be the only buggy area in the app.
The home page is pretty straight forward, showing a location map and which horse you are currently riding. You can easily change the horse, and preset a riding type, before pressing start. If you forget to do either of those, you can always change the information after you ride. Once you are done it asks about rider and horse performance, what kind of footing you rode on, and gives you a place to make notes about your ride.
Here you will find data on everything documented with each ride, broken down into weekly and monthly charts. Your input and the GPS data are grouped in charts showing the trends in your riding habits, which can be very informative on your good and bad habits.
Under Trends I like the Turns page because I know I spend more time on one side than the other. This gives a break-down of how much time you spend turning each direction. It has made me much more aware when I’m riding and I am making a conscious effort to keep track of it. It also charts footing, speed, distance, and performance ratings.
If you scroll to the bottom of trends you find a tab for All Trainings for ride history, Energy Consumption for calculated energy burned and required calories to maintain, and Compare which matches your training trends to different disciplines.
The app has a Friends menu that works like a news feed for you and your horse riding friends. Since it’s just me using it, I don’t have anyone else on my riding feed. I think this would be most useful for riders that stable together because you can see the ride notes, and leave comments, which leaves the opportunity for information exchange about horses, footing and other conditions.
I rate the app a 4 of 5, only because of the bug in the Stable Profile option. Everything works smoothly, it does not shut down when you open another app, and it has lots of options. I’m sure there are some things that users could suggest be changed, reading the app reviews certainly shows that. Overall though I think this is a great app and I will keep using it, although I am known for running multiple apps at once to see which performs better. You can find Equilab in the Google Playstore, Apple Store or check out their webpage: https://equilab.horse/