My typical horse-filled weekend was a little truncated this time due to Real Life commitments. Boo. But it’s also kind of nice to look forward to the weekend days so much that even when you can’t go to the barn because of something else exciting, you’re still super disappointed to miss out on the day with the horses. One might say I’m a wee bit obsessed with them.
It kind of worked out anyway though, since the boys got their feet done on Friday. The babies have resumed their evening gallops around the pasture as of late, and the ground is slowly but steadily getting harder and drier, so Presto had managed to break off a decent chunk of toe from one foot plus he had a little bruise on the toe of the other. He was sound anyway, but they were ugly. And Henry’s feet grow like crazy in the summer, so even at 5 weeks he was growing over the outsides of his hinds. So they got their pedicures on Friday (I have taken to tipping my new farrier every time because he always shows up when I ask and actually texts me back, works with my vet, and he’s been successful at keeping shoes on Henry which not many have been able to do. Plus he has a female assistant. Anyone else tip their farrier or am I crazy? I want to foster the relationship and reward the good service.) and then they got Saturday off.
Last week when I posted my Pivo update post they actually released another new software update, a beta version of their horse tracking that was supposed to be capable of tracking the horse even when it was going straight away or coming straight at the camera, and maybe even jumping. I was really itching to put that to the test, so I made sure my Pivo was charged up and figured I’d throw the ultimate test at it: a jumping session.
I have to be honest, I didn’t expect it to work out in my jump field at all. Knowing that the software is looking for a rectangular shape, and knowing that it had issues with a) obstacles in it’s path b) lots of changes of light/shade c) jumping horses when they go airborne d) horses changing direction at speed e) things not being level… this whole scenario is kind of Pivo’s worst nightmare. My jump field is on a bit of a slope, there are several trees, lots of changes from light to dark not just with the shade but also with the background, plus there are all the jumps out there. I didn’t think it would even be able to track me around the trees, much less at speed while we were jumping. I just figured hey maybe it’ll catch a few fences and that’s better than nothing.
And, y’all… even with all of those challenges, it only lost me once. I’m completely floored by it. The new tracking updates take this thing from a useful little gadget right up there to champion status. Now it can film jump courses! So delighted that Pivo has not only been listening to our feedback, but actively (and quickly) working to improve this tool specifically for equestrian use. It’s rapidly becoming one of my favorite purchases ever. Look how well it did!
And yes, Henry is proud of himself. Like 110% of the time. At least he didn’t buck through all the corners this week.
When Pivo released this new update it was really meant for all the people that had been requesting to be able to place it at C outside of a dressage ring so they could record virtual tests. It struggled with that placement before, since it was looking for that rectangular horse shape all the time, which is lost when the horse comes directly towards or away from the camera. So I figured for Presto’s ride I would place it at C and go ahead and thoroughly test out this new beta tracking in one day.
By this point it was hot AF and I was getting kind of brain fried, though, because I flubbed some things. First I COULD NOT figure out why I couldn’t find horse mode (because I hadn’t selected AI yet… freaking duh…) so I fiddled with that for an embarrassingly long time. This thing literally takes less than a minute to set up when you’re not being an idiot. And then once I did get it started I’m pretty sure I forgot to select auto zoom, because… nothing zoomed. Major facepalm for myself here.
But the good news is that it did follow me pretty well from C. A couple times I got too close (I should have placed it further back from C, not as close to the rail as I did) and it lost me until I came back in the frame, but pretty good. I think for my purposes I would prefer to place the tripod at E or B, to get a better view for video. Next time I’ll try E, and set it about 10′ back from the arena rail. And uh, remember to select the right settings.
I haven’t ridden Presto in the ring in a couple weeks nor have I been doing his mid-week lunge with balancing reins, and you could tell. I struggle to have enough time for both horses on the weekdays.
I was just about dying of heat stroke after 20 minutes with Presto. It’s just too freaking hot now by the time you get past mid-morning. Luckily he handles the heat really well though, because he wasn’t even so much as breathing heavily by the time we were done. I’m super glad about that… having one heat intolerant horse is enough of a problem. If it’s going to stay at/near triple digits I’m thinking of maybe taking one ride a week from Henry’s schedule (he’s at 5 rides, so that would cut him down to 4) and adding one to Presto’s (which would give him 2 rides). Maybe one hack and one arena day? Usually August is Henry’s yearly vacation, I just hack him a few days a week, but this year there’s really been nothing to give him a vacation from, plus he was off for Dec and Jan with his foot bruise. But he does struggle with the heat this time of year, so an extra day off wouldn’t be bad for him, and it would give me more time for Presto.
How’s everyone else holding up in this weather?