Unless you are fortunate enough to board at your trainer or coach’s barn, there may be days, weeks or even months when you don’t get a chance to have a lesson. You know that you shouldn’t be dropping the contact in your transitions, or leaning so far to the left over fences, but it’s hard to remember every ride.
Welcome to the 21st century, because automated camera robots are coming your way!
These devices work by attaching your existing smartphone, video camera or DSLR to the mechanized tracker. You wear the receiver (they are fairly small, other riders wear them like an armband) and mount the tracker plus your recording device onto a tripod. Your camera will zoom, pan and tilt, following you and your horse around the arena while you school.
There are several models of cameras that are currently looking for funding via crowdfunding websites like Jigabot and Move ‘N See. According to each of these companies, the Jigabot and upcoming Move ‘n See (not the current model available for purchase) will be able to be used outdoors and indoors.
Soloshot looks pretty fun and it’s currently available for purchase, but it says right on the site it is for OUTDOOR use only (just like the Move ‘N See). Check out this video from one of Soloshot’s equestrian users.
The Soloshot2 has a burst mode that you can activate from the receiver you wear on your arm (check on the site to make sure your camera is compatible for this feature). You could get frame-by-frame shots of your position through a jumping grid, checking your horse’s footfalls in your lateral work, or even for lameness on hard ground.
Essentially, your coach or trainer (maybe even vet) will love (and hate) you for using this technology. You’ll have hours and hours of video and still-frame photos to share with them (“Are my toes turned out at 45˚?” and “Is this halt square enough?” and “Is his right hind looking off compared to his left?”) Think about the possibilities!