A few days ago the search term “people that wear fitbit while horse riding is cheating” landed a reader on my blog. Never mind the grammar, after using my Fitbit pretty regularly for about six months now, I do wonder how my horse’s steps affect my calorie count and other stats. I keep thinking there has to be a simple coding tweak to allow equestrians to adjust the Horseback riding mode to take out the horse’s steps.
Here’s the Letter
I’m writing to thank you and to tell you how awesome it is that I can finally prove/quantify that horseback riding is indeed exercise, thanks to my Fitbit Charge HR!
I’m a middle school teacher and equestrian blogger who was thrilled when my husband bought my Fitbit for my birthday in October. I began wearing my Fitbit regularly for riding. I discovered after a recent lesson (jumping) that my riding was supposedly as rigorous as a spin class!
There’s one problem that I think could be fixed to dramatically enhance the Fitbit for my lifestyle and for thousands of other equestrians who are either current or future Fitbit owners.
The Problem: the Fitbit counts our horses’ steps as our own steps. I wish that it didn’t! It makes me wonder about the accuracy.
I did a search online to see if there was a way to delete steps after a ride, and I even called in to Customer Support. I was told that I could switch my “Horseback riding” activity to “Driving.” I would really prefer to not do that. I would like to keep my categories of activity pure to know when I actually drove as opposed to rode my horse. Perhaps there is a way the technology could be tweaked so that when an equestrian categorizes a workout as “Horseback riding” that the steps could automatically be deleted?
On my blog Saddle Seeks Horse (susanfriedlandsmith.com) I posted about my Fitbit and riding discoveries. The comments generated were quite interesting! One woman stated she used to wear her Fitbit while riding, but she found it annoying to have to go back into it to delete the steps, so she just stopped wearing it. (Sad.)
Another person commented that because she rides four horses a day, she typically will have over 50K steps per day, which is not entirely accurate. One more person said she just takes her Fitbit off when she rides.
I believe that you could expand your market share into a potentially lucrative demographic of equestrians by simply adjusting the “Horseback riding” category so the horse’s steps don’t show.
The majority of horse owners drop thousands of dollars per year on supplements, chiropractic adjustments, quarterly veterinarian visits, shoeing, etc. in order to ensure the health and well-being of their animals. A Fitbit seems like a very inexpensive way for horse owners to start looking after their own personal health and well-being!
I am eager to hear if this is something that can be addressed to make horseback riding it’s own unique activity minus our horse’s steps and mileage. I’m also seeking reassurances of the accuracy for horseback riding. Thank you for your time and consideration.
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So there you have it. What are your experiences riding with a Fitbit or other fitness tracking device? Are there any questions or design tweaks you’ve encountered?