Playing with Pivo- Using This Little Device to Record My Rides

Have you used a Pivo device to record your arena rides? Pivo is a small device that sinks with your Smartphone. To record your ride, place Pivo (with your Smartphone attached on top) in the middle of your arena on a barrel. Your Pivo and Smartphone work together to track and video tape you and your horse as you go around your arena or roundpen.

It is a great way to view your rides if you don’t have a helpful ground person to do the recording. If you would like to read/watch how other riders use their Pivo devices, just google “Pivo horse review.” I was thinking of doing a formal review of it for this blog, but others have done such a stellar job that I think readers will get better value from their reviews.

I bought my Pivo last year, only to find that my cell phone was not compatible. I now have a more updated phone so I decided to unearth my Pivo from a back closet and give it a try earlier this week.

Unfortunately, I had trouble working the Pivo app. I did get video of my ride, but since I did not activate the device properly, it did not rotate. I think I finally figured out what I did wrong. Next time I bring it out, I hopefully can get my entire ride recorded.

Even so, the video clip I captured contains useful footage. I can see Shiloh in the video only when we pass in front of the camera, but some video is better than no video.

It records with sound so even when I can’t see Shiloh and me when we passed behind the camera, I can hear his hoofbeats. Gaits have different sounds, including the different intermediate gaits like the pace, running walk, fox trot, etc . . . So sound can be useful in deciphering the puzzle of gait identification.

At, I wrote last year about my quest to encourage Shiloh to move his body is a healthier manner. He had a strong tendency to offer up a pace instead of a foxtrot when asked to gait, moving in a super strung out and stiff kind of way.

We had made quite a bit of progress by the end of last year, mostly leaving the pace behind us, but seem to have lost some ground with our Winter break. I am in the process of trying to help Shiloh find a more consistent gait again.

Here are two snippets from this week’s video footage. In this first 28 second clip, Shiloh transitions into a foxtrot. It is not a super clean or distinct foxtrot in my view, but it is in the ball park.

Below you see what happens when I don’t’ set him up well for a decent transition into the foxtrot and then struggle to help him find his foxtrot as we go along. In these instances, we often just find a hard trot. In this particular case, we found mostly a weird pace/canter combo. Sometimes I can encourage him to rebalance and bring him back into foxtrot, either using my seat aids and/or my voice. This was one of those times where I wasn’t effective. In those cases, I bring him back to the walk, try to establish a relaxed four-beat rhythm and then ask again for the foxtrot again.

In transferring the video footage to my computer, I can stop the action and get “still photos” that can provide useful information in a different way from the videos. For example, here is a photo moment of backing. The back is really hard for Shiloh. Here I can see that he is getting better at transferring his weight backwards while stretching over his back while moving those diagonal pairs of legs simultaneously and not getting too crooked. It is a lot to coordinate for him (and me!).

Long story short, I think the Pivo will prove even more useful once I get it to work properly. 🙂 To have a complete video of entire rides ought to really help me document our progress and give me more insights into areas in which we struggle. Plus it is always great to have lots of photos and videos to mark our time together for posterity.

Finally, here is my favorite photo moment. Me just pleased as punch to be spending some time in the saddle. Go Pivo. Go riding!

4 thoughts on “Playing with Pivo- Using This Little Device to Record My Rides

  1. Shiloh is such a cool looking horse . Is the “foxtrot” a gait or is that what you call a short or slow trot. I think you will like the video. My coach recently got a Pixem and once we can get back t lessons ( the lockdown has just been extended to May 20😢)I think it will be very helpful .

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    1. Hi, Anne! Yes, the “foxtrot” is its own gait. The signature gait for the Missouri Fox Trotter breed (Shiloh is a registered Missouri Fox Trotter). Another month of lockdown for you? I am sorry to hear that it was extended. Hopefully you will enjoy the Pixem’s benefits once you can get back to lessons.

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  2. That looks so cool I sit my mobile on one side of the round yard fence hit record & get the passing by view close, my knee & then from the other side of the arena passing by, its hilarious to watch. I will definitely look into this one. Great share & you look so good on your pony love the happy smiley ending always a smiley place in the saddle.

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    1. Ah yes, the close up knee view! And then nothing while you wait for you and your horse to suddenly reappear on camera. It IS good for a laugh. And I totally agree about the comment “Always a smiley place in the saddle”. The coolest thing ever.

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