Favorite Tool/Gadget of 2020

I usually pick one item every year to win my own personal “MVP” award, whether it be as simple as an awesome hoofpick (look, anyone who’s kept horses on black clay soil knows how important those are) or as complicated as a helmet camera. 2020 was a challenging year to say the least, the ripple effect of the pandemic making for a pretty quiet and solitary year on the horse front. For an active blogger the lack of horse shows, lessons, xc schoolings, and general “fun” outings made it difficult to come up with content sometimes. And when you’re like me and ride alone 99.9% of the time, the lack of outings or social events also meant that it would be super challenging to get any of kind of pictures or video. No one wants to read blog posts with no pictures or video, right? Enter: Pivo.

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I’ve talked enough about the ins and outs of this thing by now that I won’t bore you with any of that. There are a lot of old posts you can go read if you missed them the first time through.

Look, is Pivo perfect? Hell no. New software releases can be buggy sometimes. It has a lot of limitations. There is a learning curve. It needs a relatively new phone and works better with iPhones than Androids. Pivo is very much still a work in progress, something to be expected from relatively new technology. For me, though, it’s been magical. Without that little pod I would have had very few photos or videos this year at all, and next to no footage of Presto period. Not only has it been a great learning tool, but it’s also captured some really big “firsts” that I’m delighted to have on film. I can watch my rides and see how the horses are looking and pick out things for us to work on. The education value has been super helpful for me. Plus, ya know… the fails. Those are priceless too.

I mean, it really paid for itself with this one alone, didn’t it?

For as cheap as it is ($140 for the Silver) it’s made such a big impact. Not everyone can justify dropping $800+ on a Pixem or a Soloshot, myself included, but a Pivo can be worked into just about any budget and it’s a lot easier to set up for those of us who are lazy or perpetually short on time (or holding a baby horse that has the attention span of a gnat). I still have absolutely no guilt and zero regrets about that particular quarantine splurge, and it’s definitely gotta be my 2020 MVP. It’s provided entertainment, insight, and memories… hard to beat that.

What was your favorite purchase in 2020? Any must-have items that would make your MVP list?

6 thoughts on “Favorite Tool/Gadget of 2020

  1. My beloved jumping saddle is not quite the right fit in the back & withers for my current horse. But it is perfect for me, have ridden in many types of saddles, this is the only one with blocks that work for my slightly off-proportion legs. I bought it about 12 years ago and it was fitted to the horse I had then, who passed away just a few years ago.

    I have been sadly browsing for another saddle option (while riding cavaletti in the dressage saddle, not all bad, right?). Then there it was on eBay – the *exact* saddle I already own, except it is the right size for my current horse’s back. Barely used, excellent to new condition. Reasonable price. The universe must love my horse!

    Hit the Buy It Now so fast. Seller was awesome, shipped right away and included a cool saddle cover with it. My horse and I are so happy. Huge win for 2020, tucked in among all the not-so-nice 2020-ness. 🙂

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  2. My MVP item was purchasing the “Ivy” bridle (non fleece model) made by Kavalkade. It’s beautiful, fits my horse like a dream and was an excellent price. It got tied up in canadian customs for a month, but was well worth the wait.

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  3. Purchasing Pivo was my best “happy purchase”. In September a virus bug came up from the southern states and many horses experienced high fevers along with explosive wall spraying diarrhea. Mine was in a clinic for 9 days, 3 that were ICU care. That expense was $6464. But I still have her. Done with this year.

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  4. My MVP purchase: My very own truck and horse trailer!!! Prior to this year I technically owned 25% of a Big Ass Living Quarters trailer (co-owned with my parents), which is awesome and I love being able to go “camping”, but A) I couldn’t move it without my stepdad’s truck, and B) Not super practical for everyday use. I’d been borrowing a friend’s rig for years, and while she was AWESOME about letting me use it pretty much anytime she wasn’t, it still wasn’t mine and I tried to be respectful and not ask to use it “just because”. So when the economy took a dip in March, she started thinking about watching truck prices and replacing her 12-year-old truck. I said, “If you do, you let me know.” Well, in June, the clutch went out in said truck, and the dealership wanted $6k to fix it (ha) and offered her a great deal on a new one. So she calls me one evening and says, “The dealership will offer me $8k trade for my truck. Match that and figure out where to get it towed to get fixed, and it’s yours.” $8k for a 12-year-old diesel 3/4 ton truck with 101k miles? Uh, sign me up, even if it DOES need a clutch! I’ve put quite a bit more into it thanks to an old issue that should’ve been fixed years ago, but it was still a good deal. And what use is a truck without a trailer, right? So I bought that in July (before the bulk of the truck maintenance, or I might’ve gotten a used trailer instead of a new one….ah well.)

    My truck and trailer have been used about 3 days a week since July. So I definitely consider it [a lot of] money well spent!

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  5. I love my Pivo. Definitely worlds better than the cell phone strapped to the fence footage. Does the Soloshot follow better? Sure. But it’s a PITA. And I actually get cleaner screen grabs from the Pivo than I do the Soloshot. (Yay for iPhone and it’s impressive camera!)
    My favorite purchase this year? I dunno… I bought a lot of stuff (#pandemicproblems). Toss up between Pivo, the Kentucky blankets, and maybe Pammon’s saddle? Best craft project was definitely the interchangeable boots though. That one I’m sure of!

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