Double Digits

Presto had TWO rides over the long weekend! One was about 15 minutes and walk-only, so might not count, but whatever lets go with it.

one ear on mom, one ear on Ella

On Friday (ride #10) he had two landmark moments in his 15-minute walk-only ride. First, it was his first time being ridden in the ring with another horse. The barn owner and I wanted to take the babies (her 5yo and my 3yo) for a short little hack across the property, so we started in the arena first. I led Presto out with the mare, got right on him with no lunge, and proceeded to stand in the middle and play tripod while I videoed the mare doing a few w/t/c laps around the ring. He stood like a champ and didn’t mind at all when she passed close by him at speed. I’m not sure you could ask much more from a 3yo that hadn’t been ridden in a week.

Then we walked out through the pasture, down the path, to the back of the property. Presto has gone a little ways that direction before, one time, but never all the way to the spooky back. He was interested, but stayed calm and quiet, and seemed to enjoy having a companion. It was a quick hack but both babies were super.


On Sunday (ride #11) I wanted to do more of what has become his “normal” short w/t/c ride. Well, first I wanted to check on the canter. You might remember me saying last time that I didn’t even canter him, because he’s growthy right now and was falling out of his canter lead behind on the lunge line. Out of character for him, but that happens sometimes in growth spurts. So first I lunged him for a couple minutes each way, checked the canter (his balance is back to normal!) and then got on.

He’s at that stage right now where he retains things so much that you feel like you’re building something tangible out of Lego’s. There’s a real satisfaction to getting on and seeing that despite going a week or two between rides, it’s as if the last ride was just yesterday. On his last real ride we started doing figure 8’s, changes of direction across the diagonal, and even big 3 loop serpentines at the trot. He was a little confused by the changes of direction at first, thinking he needed to walk through them, but this time he never even tried, just kept trotting right on through like “ok, now we go dis way”. He’s also getting a little bit straighter on his trips down the long side. I wouldn’t say he’s anywhere near actually being straight, but… it’s less drunken. The trot rhythm is starting to get a bit more consistent, too. It’s far from perfect but there are little baby improvements with every ride and I’m quite pleased with his progress with only this many rides spread over 2 months time.

Since his canter looked better on the lunge we went ahead and cantered under saddle too. He was a bit quiet about it that day so I had to encourage him forward a little more. Granted, this was, what… the 4th time he’s cantered under saddle? Sometimes he wants me to sit on him a bit more and help him balance (usually in the turns) and sometimes I need to get up off him and just leave him alone/send him forward. It’s a fine line between not hindering him but also not wanting to help him too much. I try to just adjust what I’m doing to suit how he feels underneath me at the moment.

Honestly his canter is as balanced on ride 4 as Henry’s was on year 3 of dressage

I propped my phone up in the corner of the ring so I could get some stills and maybe a few flashes of video. I’m not editing all 13 minutes of the ride down to take out the “empty space” so I just nabbed the last minute that shows some canter and trot. Sorry, this is where my level of commitment is at right now.

The good news is that I finally caved and ordered a Pivo “robotic cameraman”, so hopefully I will have improved video capabilities soon. I was a little skeptical about the Pivo at first, but as they’ve done more updates it seems to be getting pretty good reviews from riders, and it’s very reasonably priced, so I figured why not try it. If you haven’t seen the Pivo, it’s this little device that you set your phone into and it tracks you/rotates as you ride around it, so you can get video on your phone while you’re alone that isn’t just a bunch of passes by the camera on a fixed tripod. Pivo seems to have recognized that it could potentially have a good market in equestrian sport so they’ve been doing a lot of updates, support, and marketing toward us. From the feedback in their facebook group it seems that the original Pivo (the red) works pretty well too, but the Silver has 2x faster tracking ability so I figured for $30 more I might as well go with that. There’s a good video review of it here.

Ride with Pivo : How to Film Your Equestrian Videos - YouTube

I’m not expecting it to be perfect but even if it only gets half of my ride, it would be worth it to have the phone video footage that doesn’t just consist of “trot past… wait a few seconds… trot past in the distance… wait a little more… oh there he went again… now enjoy the view of the arena for a while…”. Nobody likes that, me included. The Pivo seems easier and less fussy than the SoloShot or Pixio (you legit just pair the Pivo to your phone, plop it onto a tripod or a barrel or a mounting block, and start recording – that’s the level of work I’m into), albeit definitely far less fancy. Granted, it’s also only $110-$140 vs $700+. I’m hopeful that it’ll work well enough for what I need it for.

I’m also currently in the process of trying to plan Presto’s first off property trail ride. The plan all along was to get him broke enough in the spring to where we could spend the summer mostly hacking and trail riding, and I think he’s there, so I’m keen to see if I’m right. Maybe in the next couple weeks!

15 thoughts on “Double Digits

  1. Yeah Presto! Great to hear that his rides are going well right now! Looking forward to hearing about the Pivo and how it works for you.


  2. Oooh! I’ve been wanting to video my rides, but too cheap to try the pixio. Let me know how it goes.


    1. There is a facebook group called Pivo Horse Riding Community if you want to poke around in there. It’s mostly trouble shooting for people who are having issues but there’s some good info in there too. I’ve gotten some good “in advance” tips so that hopefully I’ll be a step ahead when mine arrives! But I will post a review as well after I get it.


  3. I love the low key way you are starting Presto. It builds on all the handling and taking him out and about but doesn’t put a lot of stress on him. Nicely done! Also thanks for the tip on the Pivo. Interesting and might be a bit.


  4. Yay Presto! Count me in as eagerly awaiting your Pixio review. There usually people out at the barn when I’m there, but I don’t feel comfortable asking them to stop everything and film me. The other robotic tripods are so expensive but this seems doable.


  5. What a lovely little trot to canter transition in the beginning of that video!

    And yeah, I saw your IG post about the pivo in a drunken moment and uh, yeah I have one on the way now lol. Opted for the basic (but got the whole package thing) because I figured I’d never need to track myself doing a circle in faster than 4 sec ’cause most things I want to film are done on larger circles that take loootsss longer than 4 sec to go around!


    1. The original Pivo seems to be working just fine for most people from what I’m seeing! All the software updates apply to both types (at least for now), so yeah I think the cheaper one would suffice for 99% of people.


  6. Sometime back in the day, your plans for Presto included sending him to “a cowboy” for a while as part of the breaking in process. Given how well he’s doing now, will you still be doing that, or will you continue on your own?


  7. I’ve enjoyed mine, now I just need to get it charged and set up again. I was part of the original Kickstarter and the original was pretty rough but it has been getting better. The best thing is that since it uses the software on your phone hey can make a lot of fixes through regular updates.


  8. He looks pretty great for a baby!! If you ever need a trail riding buddy let me know. My baby is pretty well rehearsed in trails now.


  9. He’s more advanced than my pony… She doesn’t like to start where we left off. Unless that means hanging out in the paddock. She’s cool with that.
    I actually bought the red Pivo awhile back to use in the indoor, but then all my horses were lame and I never actually tried it out. Now I’m sad I didn’t wait because the silver sounds way better.


    1. Apparently the only difference right now is the tracking speed, since the other updates and improvements have come via the app. I just figured I’d get the “latest and greatest” hardware I could so that going forward I’m in a good place for any future updates. I hear they’re working on an auto-zoom feature!


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