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Let’s explain to those readers, who haven’t heard about EQUIMO yet, what EQUIMO is and what it can do.
We can simply say that it is a tracker that allows riders and their teams (trainers, grooms, or owners) to work with their horses more effectively. Our motto is „train smarter.“
We try to tell the equestrian world, our current, and potential clients, that the sport they put all their time, energy, and resources in, can be done more effectively. This means that they can create a system, work efficiently, and fully use all their time.
The tracker itself records data to analyze your horse’s movement, and the user has a detailed overview of each ride. They also have a complete training history, can plan sessions and other events, and oversee cooperation within their team – if another rider rides their horses, the users may still see everything their horses do. This all is enhanced in a user-friendly interface that offers a range of tools to lead your equestrian life more meaningfully.
Let’s discuss it in detail. What can a user find on the internet or app, and who actually is a typical user?
That’s a very good question. As EQUIMO is all about a team. The typical user can be a rider, horse owner, trainer, or groom. A team can be built around every horse. A groom can adjust feeding doses, write down walker time or different types of workouts, and the tracker can measure lunging or flatwork. All these data may be shared with a sponsor or parents.
Every time you saddle up, their phone announces the start of a session, and once you’re finished, all the data will be shared. This way, they can see how much you rode, where you went for a hack, and if your training was balanced.
Speaking of a jumping session, it is possible to view each jump including take-off and landing angles, approach angle, jump height, and jump curve. These are the data of movement analysis.
Do you have to be a tracker owner to use this internet manager?
There is an app accessible to all usual platforms, and a web interface where the data are displayed in much bigger detail. Everyone with a user account can approach these data – it is free and allows them to work with their own or shared horses.
User options are leveled – the free app can be supplemented with the tracker. The free version includes all team organization and stable management tools, as well as basic tracking without the tracker (map with different gaits). All the other details (tempo, gaits, jumps, etc.) are accessible only using dedicated hardware – the EQUIMO tracker.
A reader might be thinking about the difficulty of the whole process. If they were to download the basic app and find out what it can do, how should they proceed?
It is quite simple. Download the EQUIMO app in the App Store or Google Play, make an account, and start your adventure: explore and test all that is accessible. The same user detail can be used for the web interface www.equimo.com.
Is there a limit to the number of users I would like to invite to my team within the app, and how can I do all of this?
You can only add those users who already exist in the EQUIMO world. The link you send them as an invitation also serves as an invitation into the EQUIMO world. If I share one of my horses with you and you don’t have an account, the account that would normally invite you to share my horse will also invite you to enter the app.
If I have twenty horses in my stable and want to share them all, will I encounter any restrictions?
Not at all. There’s a section for your horses in your profile. These horses are divided into your own, and shared ones. The list of your own horses counts the horses whose profile you have created while the horses you groom or your horses training somewhere else are listed among shared horses.
Are there any features that work while riding without the tracker?
Yes, there are. That is the basis of EQUIMO which allows the users to taste the EQUIMO world. A user starts a session and gets information that this session is without the tracker. This means that there will be no detailed movement analysis. However, they will be able to view details about the track marked on a map, as well as the timing of different gaits during the ride.
How shall I proceed when I decide to buy the tracker?
We are trying to simplify the way as much as possible, so it is possible to purchase the tracker via the app that allows you to enter our e-shop. You can also contact us by any means if you want to arrange something individually. You can order the tracker alone or within a package with the Heart Rate Set. We usually deliver within 48 hours in the Czech Republic, and the shipping is free. As soon as the tracker arrives, you charge it, update it, pair it with your profile, and start tracking.
What is included in the package?
The package includes the tracker, which was standard until last January, and equipment measuring the heart rate of horses. It consists of two electrodes, a shorter right one and a longer left one. The shorter one is to be placed under the saddle pad behind the horse’s scapula, while the longer one belongs to the left side of the horse under the girth. This placement creates an imaginary line crossing the horse’s heart, which allows us to obtain high-quality data. These data can be tracked by our user during the session itself, and then in much more detail after a session is done.
Let’s look into this closely: I surely have to connect the tracker with my profile. How can I do this?
You easily click on „connect tracker“ in your app, and all the trackers around you will be seen via Bluetooth. You connect your tracker (you can rename it), your app will remember this tracker, and it will connect to it anytime it appears to be within reach.
I suppose the tracker has an integrated battery that needs to be charged. Where should I place the tracker so it works in the best possible way?
The tracker has a battery that can be charged using a USB C connector and can work for 40+ hours of tracking, which means you can measure 40 one-hour-long sessions on one charge. The tracker is put into a small plastic clip designed to not be slippery, and most of our users place it onto the saddle pad or its straps.
The tracker must be firmly fastened, it mustn’t shake or move during a session. Unwanted movement of the tracker may damage the data. The tracker is digitally calibrated at the beginning of each session but it must follow the horse’s movement.
We have designed the tracker so it is as small and lightweight as possible: it weighs only 50 grams, so you can keep it in your pocket, take it out, and clip it onto your saddle pad. You can see the pictures of our users on our Instagram account. The placement is highly individual and a rider has to spend a few sessions getting used to the tracker. People sometimes tell us that it’s not working after the first session, but in fact, the incorrect factor here is the way of use. It is just the same as if you bought a car. You have to use it correctly, and it will work well.
We are now talking right next to the arena in Olomouc, where we can see about ten riders. Professionals have many horses in their stable and within an hour, they will already be sitting on another horse. Do I need more trackers for more horses, or can I use one tracker for several horses?
You can create profiles of all the horses you need in your app. When a session is finished, you can take the tracker down, put it onto another horse, switch it in your app, and another session is ready to be started. You can work like this all day.
When is it beneficial to use another piece of equipment from the package – the Heart Rate Set?
The application differs a bit according to your discipline. The Heart Rate Set provides more detailed information on your horse’s energy management, fitness, and well-being. If you’re a showjumper, you track normal sessions without the Heart Rate Set and put it on once a week for fitness training to see the progress, for example.
I believe the chance to follow your horse’s progress is the most magical property of EQUIMO. You clearly see if their heart rate values are standstill, or get worse or better in strenuous workload. If a person learns to use the Heart Rate Set regularly, they gain added value in the form of a long-term overview of their horse’s wellbeing. They can also track a potential threat hidden in an unexplainable increase in the heart rate.
You have mentioned specifications for different disciplines. Let’s look at usability for other branches than showjumping.
We have been focusing on endurance riders this year. They crave the data more than any other riders. An endurance rider learns to know their horse much better owing to EQUIMO, they know how their body behaves under different workloads and distances. This knowledge helps endurance riders pass the checkpoints in a race or even choose a suitable horse for a competition. Riding with the Heart Rate Set is a daily issue for endurance sport.
I believe the usability will be similar for eventers?
Yes, exactly. We are dealing with a French university right now, and we are discussing joining a study on how stressful cross-country obstacles are compared to show-jumping ones. This research should include 15 horses training with the tracker for half a year. I believe we’re on a great path helping to broaden the horizons of the equestrian world.
We have mentioned three disciplines; however, there are seven under the Czech Equestrian Federation, not speaking about races. What about the other parts of the equestrian world?
Whichever discipline you do, your goal is to keep your horse healthy and fit. You have two options: to see the values yourself, or only guess, and wait for what happens. Recently, we have helped to solve several case studies in cooperation with some vets and clinics. One of these studies solved a cardiac arrhythmia, other was trying to predict pain in connection with increased heart rate.
The heart is a perfectly clear indicator. If a horse keeps a heart rate of 110 during a trot passage and it suddenly springs up to 150, you know they were either scared or something happened. If this issue repeats itself, you know you have a problem.
Is there a connection with clinical studies so vets can rely on the data?
Yes, there is a study going on in Germany and Belgium right now where we test both healthy and sick horses in cooperation with several vets.
EQUIMO electrodes are made of the same material used for human surgery. We primarily measure ECG and then calculate the heart rate. A normal user doesn’t see these raw data, but we have them and are working on a visualization for vets so they can track ECG live.
We will have to perform validation – EQUIMO will be compared to another, an already validated product, to see that the data matches, and we’ll get a certification. EQUIMO plans to strongly focus on cooperation with veterinarians in the future.
Just imagine that your vet is able to see your horse’s ECG, heart rate, and other data long-distance!
How difficult is it to prepare features for a sports tracker? How does the preparation and release work?
At the beginning, there are users who tell us what improvement they’d like. We sit down and decide whether it makes sense for us, and if it does, we put it into our road map, and I bother anyone who’s available to ride and track for a month or two. ☺ In the end, our users get a notification about an update, and they can enjoy a new feature.
How do you see further development of the EQUIMO tracker?
We will now further expand into new disciplines – mainly endurance and races – and also cooperate with the veterinary world. However, the main goal is to find our way to more and more users. I believe that EQUIMO is a huge asset to all equestrians.