Tuesday, June 3, 2014

VC Blog Hop: Is there an App for that?

I love this idea for a blog hop! I feel like literally all my apps come from a friend saying "have you seen this app??"

I literally never find anything myself, so this is perfect!

My favorite horsey app hasn't gotten a lot of use recently is my USEF EquiTests 3.  There are a few different versions of the app, mine has USEF tests from Training Level through Fourth with some of the "Rider Tests" included as well.  I believe the other versions that are available include FEI tests, Eventing Tests and maybe something else.  I'm sure Western Dressage is somewhere ;)

The Apps aren't free, and they range in cost from $1.99-$10.99 presumably based on the number of tests included, but as someone who almost never shells out money for apps - this one has been well worth it.

It's thoughtfully designed and I've found it to be an effective tool for learning and practicing my tests as well as keeping up with rule changes.

When you open the App you are greeted with a simple list of each test as well as the option to select a "sketch" mode (on a full court diagram), check rule changes, or read USEF news.  What more could you want when stuck in a boring meeting at work!??

Clean, easy interface (even with gloves on!)

Let's just say Prairie is awesome and I'm not preggo, so I want to look at First Level 3 before a huge show this weekend.

When I click the test, I'm given the option of reading the test instructions in a simple format, looking through diagrams of each movement, recording a reading of the test, playing back a reading or looking at the official USEF Test Document.

Personally, the test diagrams are where this app earns it's keep.  Instead of just a written description of the movement, it also gives you a (color coded by gait!) diagram of what the movement looks like on the court, as well as a faded line indicating both the previous movement and the next movement to come.

For those who are spatially challenged and can't figure out if X-H indicates a short diagonal, or not, it's a good visual cue that helps avoid unintentional mistakes.  (Which I sometimes need).

Oh *that's* what X-H looks like....
I recorded a test reading once - basically you ride the test and record someone calling it, then the app saves the audio and links it to that test so at any time you can press play and have a "reader" - even if you're on your own.  It's actually fairly well designed, only prompting the reader with one movement at a time during the recording.. something I wondered about when I was initially attempting to use that feature.  And since you make the recording yourself, presumably it will be timed to your horse, and not a general reading that may have Sally the Short Pony racing to keep up, or Louis Long Stride ahead of the reading...

Personally, I tend to stare at the diagrams and then try to ride from memory, but I know some folks prefer the audio support.

Also, I've noticed that I pretty much always have my phone wedged in my pocket at shows, but I never seem to have a test booklet - which makes this app fairly handy for last minute reviews/panicked cramming or just reassurance.

Definitely an upgrade from the Jumping equivalent of just snapping a photo of your course map.

So my two cents are this app is well worth it, even if you're only going to one schooling show, or just want an easier way to keep up with current tests for schooling at home.  I'd gladly sacrifice a latte (or two) for this nifty little app.


  1. So cool!! Definitely need to look into this one :)

  2. A friend of mine has this and let me use it to learn a test a couple years ago. It was a pretty cool app and if I rode more than 1 test a year, I'd definitely consider buying it.

  3. Tthat is awesome!! We are so lucky to have all these tools at our finger tips!

  4. Wow that sounds like a really awesome app! I'm sadly one of those pathetic people who doesn't have a smart phone (or even internet omg!) on her phone so it's useless for me, but great fun to read! Thanks for sharing. I'll file it away for someday. :)


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