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Smartwatches for Equestrians


Does anyone have a Smartwatch that they enjoy for equestrian activities? I’m intrigued if any has one that’s compatible with some of the equine based tracking apps and/or one with fall detection?

Garmin has fall detection however, I haven’t tested it and they do not have “riding” activities so you have to improvise there. I currently have a Vivoactive 4S because I wanted a cross overwatch with a small face, most smart watches have too large of a face for my small wrists.

I have a Samsung, my friend has an iWatch. Neither has equestrian activities, which I find annoying but my friend does not.

Her’s has fall detection. I don’t think the Samsung does or I have never set it up.

I use the walking activity without having auto-pause turned on for most riding. I have used “other” as well, but walking tracks miles (roughly) as well. I use the running app for conditioning days. I didn’t turn auto-pause off for this. I found when I do dressage, my workout kept auto-pausing and irritating me but neither the walking or running app aut-pause when I’m on a hack, jumping, or general riding in my jump saddle. Apparently, just dressage I’m not moving my wrist enough.

I use Apple Watch. It has fall detection, maps and cell service. I got it after a fall where I couldn’t get up and I didn’t have my phone on me. Love it.


I have an Apple Watch, although not the one with fall detection. It does have the ability to track “Equestrian Sports” in the “Workout” app… I have not tried to use any other third party apps, so not sure if any of those work. I do use it to track my rides both while in the saddle and afterwards, but it’s really just duration.


I have a series 8 Apple Watch. It has fall detection that can alert emergency contacts if one were to be knocked unconscious. There is an Equestrian Sports category in the workout selection app. In the past I’ve used Equilab, which requires having the phone on your person, but can be activated from the watch itself.

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Apple Watch has fall detection.

Equilab can now be used with just the watch (though it can’t do the gait detection).


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I have a Garmin and love it! They do have horseback riding as an activity option. On my Fenix 7S I can start a riding activity right from the watch, but with the Vivoactive 4S I had before I had to record my rides as cardio and then edit them to riding in the app. It was mildly annoying but not a huge deal. You can also create custom activity profiles, so I have one for general rides and one for cross-country with different data fields. I like that they’re designed to be durable enough for outdoor sports so I don’t have to worry about it getting banged up at the barn, plus they can last for weeks between charges. I haven’t used the fall detection since I don’t usually ride alone, but I’m glad it’s there if I ever need it.

I’m eyeing the Apple Watch (series 8 or SE i think it is) for the fall and car crash detection, map back tracking, and to be able to make calls or send texts without my phone (that’s the part the rules out the garmin and fitbit and such as far as I know). After having a life or death situation and a near life or death situation in the past 6 months, being able to make calls without my phone is no longer negotiable. It wouldn’t have made a world of difference in either situation BUT it would have made the stress on me way better. With riding alone (and doing nearly all horsey things alone), the fall detection is important as well.


I also have the Vivoactive 4S, I use it for riding and running and workouts.

When initially recording the activity, there is no “riding” option, so I choose “cardio” or “pilates”. Then later, when the watch syncs to my phone, I change the activity name to “riding” (this is just a free type textfield), and select the detailed activity type as “horseback riding”.

It’s a lovely watch, and I also like that they have the “s” versions of some models, which is just a slightly smaller face size.


I have a Samsung, and it does have “horseback riding” as an available activity.

The most important thing to me is durability. I don’t want to put it on/take it off ad nauseum because I’m brushing a dusty horse or scrubbing buckets. I just upgraded to a Watch 5. I had a Watch 3 for years and that thing took brutal abuse and kept on going.


Awesome. Loving all the feedback so far.

I am an Android person, so I was looking at the Samsung and the Garmin watches, so I think will have to compare/contrast a little bit more.

I do often ride along late at night, especially in the winter, so it would be kind of nice to have some kind of backup in case I separate from my horse, lol. :slight_smile:

A smaller watch face would also be a plus. While I am very tall, I have a very small/fine boned wrists and I would rather have one that is smaller, yet is durable. I can’t really picture myself trying to baby a watch.

My watch has a “hard fall detection” where it will automatically message my 3 emergency contacts.

I don’t know the nitty gritty of the feature - I’d imagine there’s a warning on the watch before it fires off the texts. Frankly, I don’t care to find out the nitty gritty!

I do always have my phone on me, but the watch is much more convenient for mid-ride stuff.

Edit: Yes, has a 60 second warning before blowing everyone’s phones up that I’m dead lol


Those of you with Apple watches (@Snowdenfarm, @4Frogs_aLilypad, @kaya842) do you have to turn something on for fall detection to work or is it always going in the background? If always going, how much of an impact on battery life does that create?

I have a Garmin watch specifically for fall detection. I had a horse trip and somersault on me two years ago and it could have ended very badly, and I ride alone at home. I preferred my fitbit watches for use-ability but needed fall detection. With the Garmin watch, I do have to “activate” specific outdoor activities to make it work, such as outdoor walk, outdoor run, hike, so it isn’t on all the time, so if someone’s cheese slid off their cracker just during feeding time and tried to kill me, it does no good. But I activate outdoor walk before getting on and it works fine. I should probably use outdoor run but whatever. It has gone off twice, both times I was unable to turn it off before it sent the SOS text messages but I was able to get my glove off and turn it off before it contacted emergency services. Once was when I was giving some apparently enthusiastic good-boys at the end of the ride and once when I dismounted. I’m curious about the apple watch and how it functions because my current phone is dying and I can either stick with Android and Garmin, or go iStuff.

ETA: my Garmin watch will usually be between 50 and 75 percent when I plug it in at the end of the day and can generally charge up while I shower; if I ride a lot and use the GPS, it might burn a little more battery like down to 30-40 percent. If I leave the GPS/fall detection active all day, it would deplete the battery within seven hours or less according to the insert.

The watch has impact detection capabilities.if it detects a fall, it prompts the user to respond within a certain time limit to say whether you’re ok or need assistance. If you don’t respond it at all, it’s assumed you need assistance and I believe emergency services are called and emergency contacts, contacted. I don’t have to activate it. It’s a feature that is always on.

Where is the equestrian sports category? Just got one…

I have an Apple Watch, and I’ve used the fall feature several times….

It buzzes at you for a set time and if you don’t respond it calls 911. Luckily I have not had to test the 911 feature.
Of the falls I’ve had, it’s recognized all but one. Weirdly enough the one it didn’t recognize was my worst one. But, it also has a nifty feature that if you hit the side button a bunch of times it will call 911 for you.
It’s never gone off for any ‘normal’ activity like jumping, but did go off yesterday when a horse slammed her face into my arm.

Overall I like it and recommend it, especially if you ride alone.

(As a side note; the fall detection seems to not work as well when you have it set to track your workout. Probably because high impact sports like mountain biking would have it going off all the time. So I don’t turn that part on. It will automatically track how much time your heart rate is elevated/approximate calories burned and display that even without the sports tracking on)

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Hit the dial on the right hand side of the face. Look for the bright green circle with a black stick figure in a running posture, then scroll down until you see “Equestrian Sports” with a green stick figure in 2 point position on a horse.

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I hear the Pixel 8 is supposed to be a great phone and has a companion watch that will be similar. This is good information to have for comparison.