10 Must-Have Mobile Apps for Horse Owners
10 Must-Have Mobile Apps for Horse Owners
By Pamela Britton Baer
People think traveling with kids is tough. Ha. They ought to try dragging a horse along with them. But whether you're caring for horses at home or hauling to big shows or rodeos, there are some phone apps that will make your life easier. Here is a list of some of my – and my horse friends' – favorite apps.
Once upon a time, I headed north to a horse show and spotted what must have been thousands of ducks and geese flying south. I marveled at this oddity until I arrived at my location, where it’d been raining nonstop for days, and it felt so cold even the ducks knew to leave. Lesson learned: Before we go anywhere, we check the weather and then keep track of it as we travel. It's also handy at home to check if you need to blanket, or if they need to stay in due to impending weather. Our seasoned explorers recommend AccuWeather. It’ll give you daily highs and lows, as well as an hourly forecast that comes in handy. We also love the radar and the way you can play it back to see which way storms are headed. The minute-cast comes in handy, too, especially during heavy rainfall.
To Blanket or Not to Blanket?
On the topic of weather, you can finally answer the question of "Should I put on the heavy blanket on my horse tonight?!" With the SmartBlanket app, brought to you by AQHA Corporate Partner SmartPak, input information about your horses and the app will provide customized recommendations tailored to each horse and the weather at your barn.
Rulebook in Your Pocket
Did you know the AQHA Rulebook can be downloaded as an app? I used it at a show not too long ago to look up how to lease a horse through AQHA. Super-easy to navigate. Everything is right there at the tip of your fingers.
Keep Tabs on Your Riding
Keep track of your riding, or start a group with your stablemates! Equilab will keep track of metrics while you ride to help you understand how you and your horse are doing, and even has an option for safety tracking, which allows others to follow your trail ride live and make sure you are safe while riding alone.
Raise your hand if your GPS system has taken you to a dead-end street in the middle of nowhere. This is especially exciting when you’re hauling horses. There’s nothing like having to back your rig for a mile because there’s no place to turn around. Forget those bad navigation apps. Google Maps is our favorite. Simple. Free. Accurate. And it includes a handy feature that shows you traffic delays. The app will even estimate how the expected length of that delay. Don’t like Google? Try Waze. The ultimate community-based app does the same thing as Google, only it relies on its users to keep things updated.
Truck Stops and Fuel Stations
Raise your hand if you’ve had a moment of sheer panic watching your fuel gauge drop lower and lower, and there’s nothing for miles and miles, and no place to fill up. What’s Around Me will help calm you down. You’ll find a place to top off, as well as the best deals. It doesn’t have the ad-ware that counterparts GasBuddy and Gas Guru have. It seems to load better, too. You’ll find gas stations, fuel prices and roadside assistance with a swipe of a finger.
Once upon a time, a friend said she had the bladder the size of an elephant. She wasn’t kidding. I’m not as gifted. TruckStopPro would have been a big help that day. It’s not free, but it’s worth its weight in gold if you’re trying to plan your potty stops.
Find a Mechanic
It never fails. You’re trucking down the road, looking forward to time away with your horse, when suddenly your vehicle goes kaplat. When you’re hundreds of miles away from home, what do you do? Relax, there’s an app for that. OpenBay will help you locate mechanics and get quotes. You can even pay for your repairs through the app. This could be a lifesaver.
There’s nothing worse than arriving at a hotel only to learn the pool is the size of a postage stamp and your room faces a freeway. Our world travelers have found Trivago to be one of the best apps out there for finding the best hotels. It compiles prices from all over … like Expedia, Hotels.com and Travelocity. You’ll get a list of all the best deals, as well as personalized reviews.
Hotels not your thing? AirBnB pairs apartments and homes with would-be renters. Most property owners offer a daily rate that’s on par with a local hotel. Forget tiny rooms and elevators. Rent a whole house at your next show. You can split the cost with your barn mates.
Most of us can’t imagine leaving home without our canine friends. If you’re traveling long distances, consider using BringFido. The app allows you to find pet-friendly hotels. No more asking at the front desk whether it’s OK to bring in your precious pooch. This app makes traveling with your four-legged friends as easy as playing fetch.
And for a Little Fun ...
If only horses understood "smile for the selfie." But, hay, there's an app for that. The All Ears app was developed by an equestrian who wondered, “Wouldn’t it be fantastic if we could use horse sounds to get your horse’s attention while taking pictures with your cell phone?!” The app plays 25 different horse-related sounds that work with custom settings when capturing photos and videos.