Some weeks ago, Eventing Nation sent out an email announcing a contest to win a gift certificate to purchase items from Kentucky Equine Research – specifically, you could win enough to pay for a heart monitor kit.
I’ve wanted a heart monitor for some time, so I read the contest rules with more interest.
Sure, ok, I can do that! I’m always interested in trying out new horse fitness tracking thingies.
Spoiler alert: the app kind of sucks as it’s currently set up.
Stable, for keeping your back end records.
I have no idea what the “connections” part means. But you see here how it’s a bit unwieldy for people with just one horse. It really wants you to list lots of horses.
The distinctions are kind of arbitrary. Lower-level? Yeah, I guess, but…what does that *mean*? If the purpose of this app is to help collect data, there should be some kind of definition of what each category encompasses, so I can be sure I’m making the right choice.
These were all “types” I created myself. Which means – again as above – they are basically meaningless in the broader scheme of things. They roughly encompass the types of work I do (well the types of work I had done 3 days into using this app, anyway) but…surely most people don’t stick to precisely one type of work at a time? Am I just that easily bored? I found that numerous times I set the type of work and then changed my mind after 5 minutes, because it was immediately apparent that wouldn’t work for him that day.
Still have no idea what this means, really. There’s no button to add. I gather that one of the functions of this app is to have your trainer assign you work, so…maybe that’s what this is for?
Please note: there is no way to add your own ICE (in case of emergency) information. You have to send or receive “ICE connection offers.” So in order for the ICE button to call, say, my husband, he’d have to be in their system. I tried to see if it would connect to my iPhone Contacts. When I typed “Matt” into the search box one of the names that came up was Elinor MacPhail. Not only does her name not contain the letters “matt” she’s also a 4* rider who has no idea I exist, WHY WOULD I CALL HER IN CASE OF EMERGENCY.
If I am misunderstanding the purpose of this function, there’s nowhere in the app that tells me that, or what its intended use actually is.
Let’s get to the actual ride clocking.
Every time you start a new session, you have to enter the Horse, Location (which…ok? why?), and Worktype. It never assumes I’m riding the only horse I have in the stable, which is not great UI.
(no, that’s not my barn, I took this screencap on lunch break at work. that is basically 75% of the downtown of the 5th largest city in the state of Vermont. just in case you needed more proof that this place is TINY.)
Here are two rides. No, I did not ride my horse at 10:30 pm. I don’t remember exactly what time it was, but there’s no way it was later than 7:00 pm. And I remember thinking at the time that not only was the hourly tally wrong and there was nowhere to indicate that I’m on EST, the minute time was wrong as well. So I have NO IDEA where it is pulling that data from.
This is the section that has the most potential, and when I first saw these screens I got excited and was prepared to forgive the app all its other bizarre eccentricities.
Then I thought about the ride I’d had, and looked more closely at the numbers.
This was a 30 minute dressage schooling session. According to this app, I only trotted for 4 seconds, and I never cantered. I tested it across several other rides – including a timed conditioning session – and the app was wildly inaccurate every single time. So it’s got really shitty coding in the way it accesses the iPhone’s internal motion sensors.
Maybe it will be better with an actual heart rate monitor hooked up to it. If I ever purchase one, I’ll check back in and update this review.
In the meantime, I’ve recorded and uploaded about 5 rides, and that’s about as far as I’ll go with this particular app. It’s just not worth it – inaccurate reporting, unwieldy UI, and its most supposedly beneficial features – sharing with trainers – are just not a match for what I do.