Interested in knowing how many miles you rode on your trail ride? Do you ride alone most of the time? Do you want to improve your riding? Do you find it hard to get to a clinic or instructor? Is there a skill you need to work on but you are not sure where to start? Would you like to keep track of your rides? Wondering how much of each gait you ride? Here are some apps to help you with what you need!
RIDE IQ—Two-week free trial. $21/month or $249.99/year. Ride-iq.com
Key features: What sets this app apart is real-time lessons as you ride from top trainers and instructors in Dressage, Eventing, Jumping, Groundwork and Fitness. Leslie Law, Holly Hudspeth, Kyle Carter, Lauren Sprieser, Kathy Barr, Peter Gray and Jon Holling, to name a few. No matter your discipline, the fundamentals are universal. Also includes Podcasts, Dressage Test Ride-Throughs, Dressage Test Playbooks, Live Weekly Q&As, Hack Chats, Sports Psychology, Fitness, Video Library of Exercises, and Lesson Support. They have also just partnered with the U.S. Pony Club.
Why we love it: Robust platform with new material being added daily. I was not sure how this would work, but I am a huge fan of this app. All the other features are excellent as well, but the lessons are what set this app apart. For me, when I ride, I have always had a general plan of what we are going to do and work on that day and then I see what unfolds for the day and adjust accordingly. With Ride IQ, knowing my horses weaknesses, and mine, or if I have a competition coming up or maybe I just want a warm-up, I find one of the lessons that fits that day. It is not a substitute for the physical eyes on the ground of an instructor, but with limited time to make it to lessons, it gives us focus, and the lessons from a variety of top riders produce results in real time. Plus, the little tidbits you get from these riders you would not normally have access to stick with you, and I have had several “ah-ha” moments. Hearing Olympic-level riders talk about their thought process or how they ride a certain movement is game-changing. Two brilliant sisters, Jessa and Kinsey Lux, started this app. Jessa lives in Denver. Their online group is amazing—excellent customer service and just a fun, positive assortment of people.
How it works: I use just one air bud so I can hear what’s going on around me, and my phone is in a phone belt around my waist. My cell phone reception works while I am riding, but I do know people with poor reception in their arena who download lessons ahead of time. Typically, the lessons expect that you have walked your horse for a good 10-20 minutes to warm up before you start. The instructor in the lesson is also riding. Just press play and start riding through the lesson with the instructor. Arena not required. The lessons vary on a scale of level one through three, and vary in length. For example, lesson names include Spiraling Circles for Collection, Intro to Counter Canter, Lateral Work for Responsiveness, Half Halts and Straightness, etc. Just try the two-week free trial!
EQUILAB—One-week free trial. Free version with limited capabilities or the PRO version for $6.67/month, $80/year. Equilab.com
Key features: Tracking for mileage and path on trails, track rides on different horses, share your position live with a friend when riding alone, track time spent in transitions and which direction, set reminders and schedule rides for goals, easily review ride schedule, chat with others within a group you create. Very simple to use and start.
Why we love it: Tracking mileage on trail rides, times spent in each gait, number of transitions, time spent going to left and right, safety tracking when riding alone.
RIDELY—Free version with limited capabilities or PRO for $6.58/month or $79/year. App.ridely.com
Key features: Video library organized from basic to advanced of riding exercises, horse care, grooming, mindfulness, yoga and more from masters such as Carl Hester, Charlotte Dujardin and Meredith Michaels Beerbaums, Ingrid Klimke, etc. Mostly Dressage, Jumping, Eventing, but great exercises and education pieces for many disciplines. Also, calendar-based journal of rides, “ask the experts” group access.
Why we love it: Incredible videos of all kinds by the masters. Video library growing weekly. Track rides.
Our mountain community enjoys a diverse group of equestrians. With all of the amazing land that surrounds us, we have a strong population of trail riders as well as recreational riders to national competitors—younger as well as the more seasoned. Hopefully you find something useful here to improve your riding and time with your horse!
Heather McWilliams ©2022