Make it a HABIT!! Read on…
The phrase, “I keep forgetting to turn on my GPS when I ride,” comes up quite often when talking to new Top Trail members. Hey, they’ve been riding for years without a GPS to log their rides so they simply haven’t developed the habit yet. Many of us have been doing this for years now and have hundreds if not thousands of miles under our belts so we asked our TT pros to pass along some tips and triggers that might be helpful for those just getting started in the fun pursuit of logging trail rides.
From Jen: “Losing credit for miles ridden is always my trigger ?. I use my phone and a Garmin watch and always track with both.”
From Carole S: “I use a phone holster so when I’m putting this on my belt, it reminds me to take my phone out of my back pocket and set it down by my trailer key. The last thing I do before mounting is pick up my phone, start my app, put it in my phone holster, lock my tack room door and ride out. ? On return I usually dismount 50-75 feet from the trailer and while walking I’m checking to see how far I’ve gone and then stop my app. Works well. And I’ve not got a great memory.”
From Debby: “Sam is my reminder.” Sam is Debby’s husband and they ride together—they use the “buddy” system!
From Kris: “We turn our app on when we put on our helmets.” Both great habits!!
From Carole Sharp: “My mounting block is my trigger. Before I mount I start the app. When I get back to the trailer I end the app. I’ve had trouble with the pause so don’t pause for lunch breaks etc. If we do two rides in a day (come back to camp) I end (the track) & save (then) start a new one when we go out again.” Pausing and starting up again can cause you to miss the back half of your ride unless you are really paying attention!
From Jill: “Most of the time my husband—who doesn’t track—reminds me. Friends do also. I also try to create the HABIT. Get on the horse, turn on the tracker. Get off the horse, turn off the tracker.” Jill is fortunate that she has friends watching out for her too but I bet she remembers regardless!!
From Deirdre: “I put my Garmin in my saddle bags… so as soon as I’ve slung them on the horse, I “pack” them (lunch, drink, etc.) & that’s just one of the things that gets packed.. and when I pack it, I turn it on.” Packing the Garmin has become an important part of Deirdre’s ride prep!
From Maggie: “I turn it on when I walk up to mount up. I never pause it for lunch, if I do I always forget to restart it. Lol.” Word to the wise 🙂
From Adrienne: “I turn my EasyTrails on as soon as I get out of the truck and before I get on the horse. The time doesn’t matter to me, just the miles. If I wait until I am in the saddle I either forget or hold others up while trying to get it started.” This is great as long as you don’t walk around and add additional mileage without riding!
From Tracy: “At the mounting block 1. Recheck cinch. 2. Turn on watch GPS. 3. Turn on phone GPS and put in saddle bag or horse holster. Along with this make sure GPS starts.” We definitely recommend confirming that the GPS is recording after it’s been started.
From Mary: “Develop a habit of making it part of your pre ride checklist. Check your bridle, tighten your girth, start your Trail App or GPS, get on and ride. My riding buddy used to always ask me “Do you have your phone on?” Lol.” Paired with another important action — because logging with your GPS is also important!
From Pam: “I put my phone and sunglasses on mounting block. Once we are tacked up… Turn on EasyTrails GPS, put on sunglasses…mount up and go!!”
From Jennifer: “I try to get my GPS on just prior to mounting up. I have been keeping my Garmin Foretrex 301 attached to my night latch on my saddle instead of wearing it. I turn that on when I tack up my horse.”
From Sandy: “I put a plastic bag in my helmet—then when (I’m) ready to ride, I turn on my app & put the phone in my bag & into my pommel pack. P.S The helmet always goes on!”
From Eva: “I turn mine on right before I pack my phone and mount up…I keep it on from time we leave til get back to camp (eat/drink/socialize etc, some rides it might take us 4 hours to go 2 miles ??) doubt would remember to turn it back on if I turned it off for stops. If we go back out I start it over.”
From Michelle: “I turn it on, set my “turnaround” alarm (—just a timer. I ride in the evenings a lot because it’s hot as **** here, and I want to be home by dark. Or if I just want to be back by a certain time at all. Say I have three hrs till I need to be back. I’ll set two alarms: one for an hr as a warning and one for an hr and a half as a final warning. That way, if need be, I can simply turn around and go back the way I came and know exactly how long it will take me. Or if I know it’s shorter to keep going, I can do that.), and then turn it to airplane mode to save the battery. I try to do that before I mount up.”
From TL: “I use EasyTrails. This is my process and it has become a habit 🙂 it takes less than 30 seconds:
- Take my horse to the mounting block
- Pull out my phone and launch the GPS app
- After the GPS signals to me that it’s ready (I use EasyTrails) I hit the start button and confirm that it’s recording by looking at the “time” on the screen. If the “clock” is ticking I know it’s running.
- Then I push the “home” button on my iPhone. This keeps the app running but in the background.
- Then I disable & lock my phone screen so that it doesn’t get bumped and turn back on during the ride accidentally.
- Mount up and ride!
Now that you’ve got some ideas to help you remember to record your tracks, why don’t you take the next step and join the program and community that recognizes the rider and equine for their trail mileage: Top Trail! We give you 30 days free to check it out. Sign up today.
The NEXT great habit we need to develop is sending your track to your Top Trail account so that you get credit for those miles!! Watch for another blog post and we will cover that very subject.