I almost can’t remember my last ride thanks to holiday travel and then the California downpour, so I will regale you with a tale of the time I borrowed my husband Mark’s heart rate monitor and used the app Strava horseback riding Knight, my Thoroughbred love. I learned something hilarious and have a funny visual (see below) to show you as well.
If you’ve been part of the Saddle Seeks Horse community you probably know I wear a Fitbit Charge HR when I ride and I’m hooked. Well, my husband is an avid mountain biker and he loves data which is why he uses an app called Strava to track his bike rides.
With Strava he can track his heart rate, miles ridden, speed, elevation climbed, and there’s even something called a “Suffer Score” which rates how hard you’re working during the ride or run and you can go back and look at the segments that were “killing” you. There are suffer ranges such as “Epic” and so forth.
A few other cool things about Strava (and if you use Strava for running or biking or riding your horse, you have to let me know in the comments or shoot me an email) are that it will map out your ride and then it can replay a “movie” via Google Earth that details your route. Also, there is a community within Strava so you can see how you did compared to other riders on that same route that day or all-time. You can leave encouraging comments to each other and “like” someone’s ride.
One ride well before Christmas Mark told me I should try out his heart rate monitor and I could compare the device worn on the chest with my Fitbit which is on the wrist–to see if my heart rate was the same with both devices. So I placed the monitor with the strap just below my sports bra. Mark then installed the app Strava on my phone so the monitor would have a place to send the data.
What I Learned Using Strava Horseback Riding
I went for a ride. I don’t think it was a particularly rigorous ride. I was just there to do a simple walk, trot, canter. I rode for about a half hour. I came home and my husband was eager to see my stats. He was impressed that my heart rate could go as high as it did from riding.
I laughed when I noticed the 12.3 mph maximum speed because when we’re cantering, especially jumping, I feel like Knight is FLYING! He has a big stride and his canter feels incredibly fast–not out of control–but fast. Considering his sire is Tiznow who had serious enough speed to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic back to back years in 2001 and 2002, and the fact that race horses at the top of their game can go around 40 miles per hour, he is undoubtedly capable of a bit more.
As it turns out, we’re not fast. Nope. Not fast at all. So next time I’m in the saddle and I feel like Knight’s flying around, all I have to do is remember the number 12.3 and think of how brilliant it was of hubby to encourage me to try out his favorite app.
And in case you’re wondering, there was no suffer score that I remember, only joy.
Leave a Comment: Do you ride and Strava or use some other tracking device?
P.S. I have done a little digging and it seems there are some equestrians who use Strava, and some have been asking the app to designate a horseback riding category. As of now it hasn’t happened.
Thanks for reading and please canter along with Knight and me for more lessons learned from tech and eq on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. You can also subscribe to Saddle Seeks Horse by filling in your info below. Tally ho!