When Megan Kaiser saw her runner friend’s fancy GPS watch, all she could think was: I need that. But not for running–for riding her horse.
I’ve never been good at knowing my left or right or distances – unless it is in the context of a horse. If you tell me to turn right while driving, you only have a 50/50 chance I’ll go the correct way, but if my trainer yells “go right,” I don’t even have to think about it. I can’t tell you how long our driveway in terms that a “normal” person could understand it, but I can tell you it’s about nine strides. I have found it helpful to visual a jump at either end, for some reason those anchors are needed. And, yes, I could do my visualization and then the math so the normal people could also understand, but I’ve never been that interested in normal people understanding me so why bother.
But I have been curious about the distance we would ride while we were out – is it two miles or ten? I have no clue. That is up until I got my new toy: a GPS watch that tells you these fun facts. It is a toy simply because it is only for my entertainment. If I was training for an endurance ride or a three star it would be a tool, but for me it’s a toy.
Last summer I went riding with a childhood friend when she was in town. She is big into running and had her fancy GPS watch with her. This thing tells you how fast you’re going, how far you have gone (distance and time) and when you get home you can down load the information. It will then create a cool map of where you went and a graph of your pace. I imagine for the runners or bikers you want this graph to remain rather steady, but for us it’s all over the place and rather entertaining. (“Look at that spike; it must have been where he took off with me.”)
You can also set a “home” and it will give you directions back there if you get lost – this is what convinced my husband that it was a good idea to get it. He knows I’m going to go out one day and never find my way back. But I know my horse can get back to his friends (and the grain bin), so personally I’m not worried about it, but it was a good selling point and went with it.
It has been added to the paraphernalia needed when I ride beyond your standard gear: phone – check, crash vest – check (I own it and it’s not that uncomfortable – I might as well put it on), and my GPS watch – check. Off we go!