From managing vet records to memorizing dressage tests, organizing your horse life is no easy feat. Lorraine Jackson checks out 10 smartphone apps designed to help you not lose your mind completely.
Having just recently made the reluctant switch from dumb phone to smart phone, I lasted about two days into proving my husband wrong that my iPhone would not be overrun with completely unnecessary horse apps. Ergo he now refers to my all-powerful mobile machine as “my very expensive horse giga pet.”
But fear not! You too can turn your talking, texting, emailing data plan into a frenzy of horse guides, planning, and entertainment. Without further ado, here are 10 great apps to take the barn with you wherever you go.
1. Shoeboxed: This generic non-horsey finance app is a must have for anyone who is running their own business and who needs to track receipts for tax season. (REMINDER: There is something important to do in April other than watch the Rolex!) You can use your mobile phone to take a picture of the receipt and the app will automatically record the amount, date, and you can categorize it as necessary. A winning app for all you starving show braiders out there.
-Free for Android and iPhone.
2. EquiList: For all the Forgetful Jones out there in the crowd, this handy app comes with a preloaded checklist of standard items needed when traveling for a show; travel, vet documentation, grooming, tack, and rider equipment. You may also add or delete to these lists and necessary, and a way to check things off as they are packed. Never leave the tack trunk again!
-Only on iPhone now, but adding Android in the next year.
3. Equisketch Records: The best rated of the top horse management apps, this app helps you to track veterinary visits, medication, and other medical needs for each horse, training, feeding, breeding, and more. This app will run you $5, but for the number of options and services it provides, it’s a great tool for those tracking more than one horse.
-iPhone and iPad only at this point.
-Android lacks an equivalent at this point, Equisketch may roll out Android in next year, but if anyone needs a million dollar idea, this might be one!
4. CourseWalk: An app featured on Eventing Nation last year, this app records and displays XC courses using satellite images from Google, also allowing fence photo galleries, track and distance gauges in meters, identifying minute markers, and even elevation display. The app is $9.99, but hey, you can sell your wheel gauge for the difference!
-iPhone, iPad, and Android. Photos: ESJ/EN
5. Horse Rider SOS: For trail riders and hack rides gone awry, there’s SOS, which alerts your emergency contacts that you are man overboard, and will indicate your exact GPS-based location for pickup. Runaway horse not included.
-iPhone and Android, $6.99.
6. EquiSketch Dressage: Among the highest rated dressage apps available, this program allows you to create each movement of your dressage test and then start your animated horse to perform the test. The app is meant to improve memorization of patterns, cues, and arena layout, and has a variety of editing options to customize for your way of learning. It can be used in both dressage arena layouts. Become a pattern genius for only $4.99.
-iPhone and iPad only.
7. My Horse: This addictive little free app is juvenile? Yes. Wildly uneccessary? I’m afraid so. A fun way to feed your horse addiction during boring day-job work meetings? You betcha! It’s your standard feed/love on/compete your virtual horse game, only this game foolishly pays you fake coins for taking care of your own horse. A fantasy I can get behind. The graphics are pretty fun, and I can’t get enough of how much my fake horse likes getting her ears scratched. Add the app, and then add me! (Handle: LOEranch, horse Gertrude).
-iPhone and iPad only.
8. Groundwork: A simple and elegantly made app to freshen up your groundwork. This app divides its lesson plans into categories by goal, such as improving impulsion, confidence, lateral movement, tacking up, and circling. Each category gives you an idea of the movement, the goal, and troubleshooting. Sadly, they have no plans to release a version that cures rope burn.
-iPhone, iPad, and Android. $2.99
9. FEI CleanSport: A free app created by the FEI, this database is meant to help upper level riders distinguish between routine, legitimate medication, and deliberate and calculated doping that does not meet the FEI standards. The list includes approximately 1200 substances on the prohibited list, their general uses, and also their common trade names. Even if you’re not an upper level rider, I found this app to be helpful for better understanding equine medications for no cost.
-iPhone and Android.
10. Vet Apps: There were a number of useful DIY or Vet assistance apps that were great, depending on what your specific desire was. The Equine Vet app covered ten common issues, and also a full vet exam with 120 questions. VetPDA has 20 calculators for practitioners and techs to determine dosage, energy requirements, and transfusions. Equine Drugs is a more expensive but accessible tool that covers dosing regimens of 392 different drugs, and while most of these apps should not be used alone, they can arm you with the right information in conjunction with your vet. Prices range from $1-25.
If you have any apps that have made you a HorsePhone zombie, share the love in the comments.
About the Author
Lorraine Jackson grew up on a ranch in central Utah where she had more chores than friends, but having horses made it all worth it. She learned to ride under the great tutelage of her mother, the United States Pony Club, and her local 4H Horse Program Chapter. When she was 16, she took her BLM adopted mustang Ralphy to the National Wild Horse and Burro All Around Youth Finals. She took time away from horses to get a degree, go to work, and get married, but now enjoys writing about horses as much as riding them. You can follow her bizarre ramblings on horses, places, ideas, and corn dogs at www.lorraineinspain.com.