Equine innovations: Must-have apps for equestrians
Today, most of us rely heavily on technology to simplify all aspects of our lives, from communication to organization. On average, Americans check their smartphones once every 12 minutes, and many report experiencing anxiety or feeling unsettled when their phones are off or out of reach. This makes sense; our phones often contain apps that help us juggle the endless activities and commotion surrounding our daily lives. And the options are seemingly endless — we have apps to tell us about the weather, to help us keep track of our fitness and finances, and even to build our grocery lists.
Considering how integral this technology is to modern life, it comes as no surprise that apps are also starting to make an impact on the horse world. There are a variety of options available that cater to every equestrian, from the casual pleasure rider to the broodmare manager at a top Thoroughbred farm. No matter who they are designed for, these apps often share one common goal: to simplify horse care and provide instant access to important information.
Apps for tracking your ride
Whether you are a high-level competitor showing horses at the upper levels or a backyard pleasure rider out for a weekend trail ride, there are apps available to improve your ride. For instance, the Hylofit and equinITy apps help monitor fitness by tracking the heart rates of both horse and rider; they also monitor performance data to allow for the real-time assessment of performance and recovery during workouts. This rapid and continuous feedback allows riders and trainers to adjust their conditioning programs to ensure that their elite equine athletes will achieve optimal fitness.
For the pleasure rider, apps like Horse Rider SOS and Ride With Me act as an extra safety measure, especially for those who ride alone or in unfamiliar areas. These apps can provide peace of mind by monitoring your movements during a ride. When the app notices a period of inactivity, which could be the result of a dangerous situation — for instance, if the rider has fallen and cannot call for help — the app will alert the rider’s predetermined emergency contacts and share the rider’s location.
Apps for horse health
The days of frantically trying to remember when your horse was last shod or when you are next scheduled to see the vet are over, thanks to apps like Horse Keeper and Horse Health Tracker. These apps allow you to access your horse’s health information — from their body weight to their vaccination records — in a single swipe. Both apps monitor weight and body condition, allowing you to keep notes about the diets of individual horses. They can even sync with your smartphone calendar to provide you with reminders about upcoming healthcare appointments, and they allow you to share this data with other users. And if you become aware of an issue or a problem, an app like Horse Side Vet Guide® can give you access to information and practical advice, which could be helpful to have on-hand prior to contacting your vet.
Apps for barn management
Along with these apps for riding and tracking horse heath, there are other apps to help equine professionals run their businesses more efficiently. The University of Minnesota’s Hay Price Calculator app provides an easy way to compare hay prices by calculating the price per ton of baled hay. The PonyApp allows barn managers to track their horses’ daily activities, manage expenses and even add reminders about their stable, while also providing industry news and information. For the active trainer working with multiple students and horses, apps like BarnManager and StableSecretary can help maintain plans for both the short term (e.g., lesson scheduling) and the long term (e.g., yearly competition goals) — and this information can also be accessed by clients.
Looking for something more particular or focused than the previously mentioned apps? There are endless options, with new apps being released almost daily. For the international competitor, the FEI RuleApp provides on-the-go access to rules and regulations. For the racing enthusiast, Equibase Today’s Racing allows you to track your favorite racehorses in your very own virtual stable. For those who simply want to connect with other horse enthusiasts, there are options like The Equestrian App or Huufe: For Equestrians, which serve as social media platforms designed exclusively for equestrians. No matter what you’re looking for, you are sure to find something useful, thanks to the many apps tailored to nearly every aspect of equestrian life.