Do you love all the new tech that has made its way into the horse world? I am a sucker for any new riding tech, especially if it is easy to use, helpful, and non-intrusive. I’m excited to share my experience using the Equilab app, which checks all of those boxes.
I first discovered Equilab in an article on Forbes. com (Click here to check it out for yourself) and knew it would be fun to try out during my rides on Ellie Mae. For those not familiar with the app, it is an easy to use ride tracker for your phone.
Product details from my review: I tried the free version on my iPhone. You can upgrade to a paid account, which includes additional features – such as live sharing of your position with family members back home (be safe out there). There are also smart watch apps that pair with the phone app. I don’t have an Apple Watch or I would have tested this feature too.
Overall, it is a really fun and useful app to use and did I mention the ride tracking stats are included in the free version? There might be some inaccuracies with the data (ex. speed seemed incorrect), especially when riding in an indoor arena, but I find it is still a good gauge and tool for my rides.
What Did I Love About EQUILAB?
Detailed stats all in one place
- Record the basics, such as: length of your ride in minutes, total distance, average mph.
- Detailed info for each gait. I thought it was cool to see the break out of how much time we spent in each gait and the distance covered. The app also listed the speed per gait. I found this was a bit slower than expected and might have been impacted because we were riding inside the indoor arena.
- Do you find you spend too much time going to the right or favoring your horse’s better direction? The app let me know how much time we spent turning in each direction, broken out by gait as well.
- Keeps a record of all your rides. You now have the dates and times of your rides in one handy place. You can also manually enter separate ratings for how the rider and horse performed. Tip! – the ride tracking features of this app pair perfectly with our Journals to then later document your thoughts about each ride. You could even take screenshots from your phone (like I did below) and add them as images to your journal right in the PDF.
- Cool graphs and charts. I’ve included some pics from our test ride.
If you’re a chart and graph nerd (like me) this app is for you.
Compatible with multiple horses
- Equilab allows you to create profiles, with pictures, for multiple horses and records the stats for each separately. You can view summaries for each horse, but it is also possible to review the rider summary and see the stats at the rider level for all horses ridden.
- This is perfect for anyone exercising multiple horses!
Visualize path taken
- The app records the path you ride and is color coded to indicate gait.
- This was great outdoors and seemed very accurate, but the path was not as accurate inside. I think this is a GPS issue and don’t fault the app.
- Your riding path can be viewed either on a map or the satellite view. We have yet to try Equilab on a true trail ride, and will post an update once I have a chance. I think this would be really fun to see the trail route all laid out on the map.
In the screenshot below you can see how we walked up to the outdoor, saw it was too wet to ride there and turned around.
In this pic, you can see how we were all haphazard in the indoor.
We don’t really ride like this – at least not usually LOL – and the app had trouble with our position inside.
These pics display the same ride, on the road map version and then on the satellite view. The path shown outside was spot-on accurate with our route. Very impressed with the outdoor tracking capabilities.
Horse energy expended
- I don’t have a super accurate weight for Ellie, so I haven’t played around with this part as much. It appears to calculate whether you may need to adjust your horses feed intake based on energy expenditure. An interesting idea.
Rider calories burned
- Ever curious how many calories you really burn while riding? Enter a few basics and this app will let you know.
It’s fun to use
- Overall, I found it a fun tool to work into your rides and doesn’t interfere or distract from riding.
- Other fun features include adding a favorite pic to each ride, sharing your ride stats with a community (optional), ability to compare your stats with other riders in the same discipline with a spider web chart.
Room for Improvement
Difficulty tracking my path indoors
- The shape of our ride was all over the place while we were in the indoor. It even showed us starting out well out of the arena, which wasn’t the case. It seemed to still track the turns and time in the various gaits, so I wouldn’t rule out using it in the indoor, but keep in mind there may be some issues with the data – including speed.
You Need to wear your phone
- In colder weather, this doesn’t present a problem and I typically ride with my phone in my coat pocket. As the weather warms up though, I found this was the largest deterrent to using Equilab. I do not have a phone holder for my rides and I don’t usually wear breeches with a phone pocket.
- The solution is easy – if you have an Apple Watch (or other compatible smart watch) there are Equilab watch apps that eliminate the need to wear your phone (at least that is my understanding since I didn’t get to test them). The fun of using this app has me actually considering whether to buy a smart watch. Or you can use a phone holder.
Difficult to turn on and off with my gloves on
- I almost always ride in gloves and only a few of mine have phone compatible finger tips, so it takes a few tries to start and stop the app and sometimes I forget until after I’m back at the cross-ties. Not a huge deal, but it does kind of skew the stats.
Have you tried the Equilab app?
Let us know what you think in the comments.
I would love to hear more users’ stories and whether anyone has tried the paid version.
FYI – Bending Line Designs LLC was not compensated in any way for this review.