Tuesday, December 22, 2020

I Pivoed Myself

 Y'all have probably heard of this nifty little robot camera gadget called a Pivo. I thought it sounded cool and I bought one. I read half of one how-to on using it and figured if I needed help once I got going, I could google it. It works exactly as advertised--tracks the horse, struggles with multiple horses, and if it loses you, just ride in front of it again. 

Cool. Whatever. Pretty much everyone on the internet has one now and there's an entire facebook group devoted to people who are too stupid to read the instructions. You don't need me for that. 

You definitely needed this level of cuteness tho

The Pivo comes with a handy dandy remote that I think most people carry with them and use to turn the tracking features on/off as needed. Right? Like you maybe don't want a 30 minutes walk warmup of you talking to your buddy but you probably do want the 5.5 minutes you trotted around in the good light trying to get a decent screenshot. (Just me? Whatever.)

But since I'm lazy level pro right now, I don't use the remote for the simple reason of I didn't bother to bring it. Ever. It's somewhere. Maybe at home. I literally plop the pivo on the mounting block, try not to kick it over when I get on, and go for a ride. I trot around for a bit (and yeah by the time I'm WIPED OUT, apparently it's been like 5.5 minutes), and then I pop off to stop the pivo while we take a quick break. 
Nobody wants to screenshot long videos

That means two things:
1) I get adorable photos like the one above. 
2) I have a chance to review the footage MID RIDE.

This has turned out to be BY FAR my favorite feature. (Even more than screenshots, because the light in the indoor is crummy so even a really good screenshot on a pretty decent phone camera is still not good.)
Real talk tho: I'm a working ammy. I think I took 1 lesson this year. I ride 1-4 times a week, depending on my work travel schedule/the weather/my mental state. I have ok feel, middlin' reflexes, and bad riding fitness. ZB is the perfect ammy horse in that my schedule is A OK with her (and if I'm there more than 4 days she's like OMG MUM GO ON A TRIP I TIRED HOKAY). 

That means I get on and bomb around for 5 minutes working on whatever THE THING I think I need to do is. Last night, I thought "we will work on forward!"

It was hard. I was huffing and puffing and contorting myself and nagging with my legs and god only knows what the reins were doing. 

Then we took our mid-ride break and I watched the video.

And I thought. 

"Well gee whiz. Sure is hard for my perfectly nice horse to try to figure out what I want when my reins are two miles long, my hands are bouncing all over the stratosphere, my legs never really come on or off her sides, and my body is oddly contorted."

In fact, you might even think that if I was clear with the FORWARD aids, then I could be long in my legs, strong in my core, following with my elbows, and soft with my hands. 

What a concept. 

Reset Pivo. Round 2. 

It's not that I'm magically a better and fitter rider with the video review. It just shows me what my issues look like. That helps me pick a couple things to correct on that night based on how I'm riding in the moment. I have to be real honest about whether the things I'm doing are actually making a difference to my horse. 

Or if they are dumb things and the difference they are making is bad. 

oh that's a bit better

I'm not a great rider. I'm not going to become one on my current schedule. 

I'm ok with that about myself. 

It is my ongoing goal to be the best I am able with the resources I have on hand, and to do that, I need to be very clear and fair with my horse. She can be her best self when I set her up to succeed. 

now that's almost something

After watching the videos and reviewing the stills I pulled out of them, I can make some informed choices about our next ride. I can say that the best work we had all night was when we did lateral work and compression and then pushed forward and asked for stretchy trot. 

I definitely think the things I'm asking for right now are hard and require schooling, more for strength than for repetition itself. 


I also know we both get bored of doing the same thing over and over. Will there be indoor jump video in the near future? 



  1. Let me fix that for you: "Pretty much everyone with money on the internet has one now." :P

    Have fun w/ the camera, Zoe is looking awful cute!

    1. Or a step beyond that: everyone with money and no friends. ;)

      Apparently there are a lot of them on the internet.

  2. Love my Pivo! And for the same reason. Unfortunately, it seems no matter how many times Pivo tells me my hands are in my lap, they seem to just stay there. Weird.
    It's a great tool though, and I'm glad you have one so we get more ZB vids and pics!

  3. "there's an entire facebook group devoted to people who are too stupid to read the instructions" accurate summary of said group

  4. Nothing like video of the here and now to see for ourselves what needs to be fixed and what we are already doing right.

    1. Ha ha I typically just see things that need fixing.

  5. OMG. A way to highlight an issue mid ride without mirrors! Which set up did you get?

    1. I did the silver model and I have a decently new phone that works seamlessly with it. I ought to spring for a cheap tripod so I don't have the mounting block problem, but I'm not sure I'm that motivated.


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