Tracking Cameras?

Posted on Eventing just to choose one.
I ride fairly late at night and have limitted access to trainers. Right now I can grab a dressage lesson once a month but I do also jump. I’d like more eyes on the ground but I have to settle for some short videos to review later.

I’ve heard of Pivo and other video tracking solutions so I can film my rides and review for myself how I’m doing. But, are they worth it? I also don’t want something to break the bank. I don’t compete, I just love to dabble in everything and improve. I’ve also heard some don’t do well with differing contrast which would happen in the dark the way our lights are set up. I’ve also heard some trackers struggle with jumps.

I can set my phone up on the fence and do a few minutes here and there, then play it through my tv and zoom in and out when needed so that has been fairly useful. So I wonder if a tracking camera system is even worth while? I don’t know anyone who’s used them.

What are your thoughts?

I bought the Pivo a few months ago and have found it really useful. I have not used it for jumping yet, though, just for flat work. It does have some trouble with contrast at times - I’ve actually found mine works fine in the indoor at night. It has more trouble in the indoor arena during the day with the contrast between the dim indoor and the bright sunlight outdoors through the windows/doors. It also seems to work better with newer phones - people with older phones seem to have more issues.

There was a thread here, I think in the Dressage forum, a few months ago about the Pivo. There is also a Facebook group called Pivo Horse Riding Community, that has a lot of examples, and people that will help you out with technical issues. And the woman who writes the 900FacebookPony blog has one that she uses for jumping (although outside) and has posted about it on her blog.

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I also have a Pivo and have found it useful. It can be bug-y but the developers at Pivo are great and updates come out frequently so bugs are typically resolved fairly quickly (but new updates can introduce new bugs so the cycle continues…2 steps forward 1 step back).

As PP mentioned, older phones are not as good and iPhones seem to work best.

I use it maybe 1-2x a month to just do ‘progress checks’ for myself as I have nobody to video my rides and I find it super helpful for that. Definitely worth the ~$120 given the next options of Solo Shot and Pixem are like $600+!

It’s not perfect and there is definitely a learning curve - but it’s a nice tool to have in the back pocket :smiley:

Do you have to have a certain type of tripod? Will a regular camera one work, or is it too short?

I haven’t even tried our Go Pro yet but it doesn’t sound like that’ll work with Pivo.
Anyway, I’ll keep thinking about this. Basically I don’t need more junk around my house, I think that’s the bigger issue than price or anything. We have stuff stuffed in every drawer and it’s driving me nuts. Will I actually use it? Tis the question!

We have a Pixem (the one that uses your phone to film). In the beginning we were all obsessed with it. With a half way decent phone, it does a good job. Then the reality of setting it up, taking it down, and charging every piece set in. Now my trainer pulls it out once a week for her live lesson with her own trainer in Europe.

I bought a gopro 3 silver for videoing my rides and found that it only did an OK job. I could mount it with one of those bendy/gripping tripods to an area rail and just settle for only being in the frame if I rode perfectly in front of it. In short, it was only slightly helpful and I spent so much time importing and editing down the videos. I even paid extra for a remote so I could control when to begin taping, which helped, but the files are still massive for my 10 year old macbook air to handle.

I’m asking Santa for a pivo silver. It really looks fantastic, and since it is just a mount + software for your smartphone it doesn’t add too many unnecessary contraptions to your ageing electronics drawer. The sad fact is that deprecation on electronics occurs rapidly and is pretty unavoidable. That gopro that I bought used off of ebay for $120 3 years ago is now selling for $30. Since the consumer electronics market evolves so fast the next best thing is always just a year away, but the Pivo does seem to be the cost efficient solution that riders have been looking for.

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I have a Pivo silver that I use with my iPhone XS. I mount it on a regular tripod my husband already owned. I don’t have an arena - just ride outside in my field. The backdrop is trees and I also have a few trees in my field to ride around. The Pivo has worked amazing for me. I have a bay horse and always make sure to use a light pad so there is contrast which makes it easier for the camera to find us. It has lost me occasionally but picks me up again when I go by. I’ve also used it to film lessons in my coach’s ring and it worked super well.

I bought a USB stick that plugs into my iPhone and can save videos directly from Pivo app to stick. If you look on Facebook group, phone storage to manage videos is often an issue. The stick allows me to bypass that problem. You do need to read the suggested settings and play with it a bit. I get it ready before I bridle my horse and just carry it out with me to field. I set it down where I want it and once mounted, ride by and start recording with remote.

It’s been super helpful to me. Knowing the camera is there and I’ll have to watch myself ride makes me sit up straighter and be more aware of what I’m doing. I was quite horrified to see myself leaning to the left! I’m also retraining an OTTB who’s had some issues with bit and contact and it’s been invaluable to see what his mouth is doing while I’m riding.


It will work with any camera tripod. The pivo device uses the same tripod screw as a camera. But you do want the phone to be around stirrup level so you need a tripod that tall or something to set a smaller tripod on.

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I’m a fan on my Pivo - they are having a black Friday sale this week too. I think it’s a great value for what it provides, even if the tracking isn’t always perfect.

Started using a PIVO silver last week, along with a new phone (Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G) and am in the midst of working out the bugs. Anyone else using this combination (Pivo Silver / Galaxy Ultra)? The video camera of the Galaxy Ultra is 8K, which is incredible for someone like me who earns a living in photo/art/design. But the Pivo has not yet been designed to work with that much resolution, so am waiting for the next software update.

Are you all using Auto-zoom? Are you finding sunny days trickier than overcast ones?

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There’s a PIVO Facebook group that answers all these types of questions, often directly from the people at Pivo. I still haven’t worked out my bugs between winter and riding at night with lights not compatible with PIVO. And sadly on Sundays our arena has gotten really busy :o(