In my effort to keep myself motivated, I downloaded an app to track the symptoms of my chronic illness. In addition to my symptoms, it tracks what I eat and drink, my medications and supplements, and my activity level. It then correlates those things together into a nice little chart of my symptoms vs my lifestyle.
I’m pretty impressed with the app so far, it’s easy to use and entering in data points is just a matter of toggling a slider and selecting specifics. This got me thinking about riding apps.
Over the years I’ve tried many different ways of keeping track of my rides, from handwritten journals (pre-smartphone and internet), to blogging, to apps, and have never really gotten any of them to work well for me. Handwritten journals become unwieldy over time, as do blogs, especially when you’re riding multiple horses a day. It’s difficult to wade back through the entries and compare where we are now to where we were. Blog entries are a little easier to navigate, but take more time and finesse to write so that your followers aren’t bored to tears. Apps showed a lot of promise, but I’ve never found one that really worked well. They just didn’t track enough information, or the right kinds of information.
I think it would be really neat to have an app that tracked the horse’s workouts, as well as supplements, food, turnout, etc. With that information, it could then make handy little correlations like my symptom tracking does, and even aggregate the graphs by weeks and months. You could easily see a quick overview of your horse’s workouts, plus any changes in feed, supplements or turnout.
Instead of tracking “symptoms” it could track things like attitude and stiffness, and on the workout it could have tags for the activity, like jumping or hack or lungeing.
What I like about having an app like this is also that it’s convenient. Say I’m at the barn and just finished working a horse. With an app like this, I could pull out my phone and quickly and easily note what we did, how intense the workout was and if the horse was tense, sluggish, girthy or homicidal.
This would also be a great way to see if that supplement or feed change is really working. A big problem with lifestyle changes is that they can take weeks or months to have an effect, and remembering what exactly happened weeks and months ago isn’t something most people are great at. With something like this, you could pull up your charts and see that, yes, that higher fat diet has improved Poopsy’s energy level. Is that new calming supplement working on Dobbin? Nope, he’s still a dumbass, but he’s really a dumbass on the second Monday and third Tuesday of every month. Is something going on in the barn those days? Let’s ask the barn manager!
I can think of all sorts of cool things to do with an app like this, but unfortunately I know diddly squat about making apps. So, I’ll just sit here until someone more technically inclined than me sees this and says, “I can do that! And I’ll let you use it for free because it was such a great idea!” (*Hint, hint*)