July 21, 2018

The ancient proverb “it takes a village” to raise a child (i.e. the community) is now a popular phrase used to attribute credit to all individuals and tools that assist in accomplishing a specific goal. Today’s success in equestrian sport requires not only the competitor and their horse, but also a team of experts including, but not limited to, coaches/trainers, sports psychologists, personal trainers and equine maintenance specialists. Hence, it takes a village for success.


A powerful tool that benefits the entire support team of an individual equestrian athlete is video technology. As documented in a research article titled the “Development in video technology for coaching,” the author Barry D. Wilson cites how and who uses this technology:

1) Video provides an objective record of a performance, and details of the movement can be viewed in replay, which cannot be seen readily by coaches observing the movement as it occurs.

2) Video playback options, such as slow motion or freeze frame allow the coach to review and analyse the athlete’s entire performance after the event, leaving the coach to focus on a particular aspect of the athlete’s performance during the actual event

3) Images of the performance can help the coach convince the athlete regarding aspects of the athlete’s performance. The athlete and coach should have the same perception of a performance after examining and discussing the video footage.

4) Video can present images the coach cannot see with the naked eye. For example, high shutter speeds, stop motion, and high frame rates provide more images and may help capture critical events, such as the moment of take-off…

5) For athletes, viewing video of themselves perform is a good way for them to improve their performance

6) Video of a performance is useful to many of the sports scientists who are part of the support team for the coach and athlete…The sports psychologist studies the video for evidence of consistency in pre-competition routine, or for unusual stress. (1)

The benefits listed encompass how and who can use video playback to benefit the rider. With the development of the IPhone and IPad, the days of cumbersome camcorders with limited sharing ability have been eliminated, although the duration and quality of the video captured is limited. As explained above by Barry D. Wilson, an individual’s support team benefits from clear video playback that spans over an extended duration of time.


soloshot equestrian

Image: The SOLOSHOT tracks a specific individuals by syncing its focus with a tag worn by the subject. Photo Credit:

My recommendation to benefit “your” entire village is the SOLOSHOT3 with Optic25Camera. The SOLOSHOT3 is a robotic video camera that automatically tracks and films the subject(s) wearing a “tag” from up to 2,000 feet away for hours at a time. After several emails to SOLOSHOT’s customer support, I finally committed to the investment.


IMAGE: My SOLOSHOT3 is portable and easy to use.  

I chose to purchase a robotic camera because I wanted to review my lessons, but I often feel like a nuisance asking others to video me. Additionally, as noted in the list above, my trainer needs to be watching my ride, not focusing on the task of filming.

The item shipped quickly and the tutorial links on the website were easy to follow for set up. A mini memory card is used to store the footage while filming and the card then fits into a converter that slips easily into my Apple MacBook Air. Once downloaded, the clarity and focus of the recording and ease of playback astounded me.

IMAGE:  Recording uses a mini memory card and downloading to a laptop was simple.  The playback function is easy when analyzing performance.


My trainer often sounds likes a recording because she constantly reminds me of the same changes I need to make in my ride.  It was not until I reviewed an ENTIRE lesson that I could better understand what I needed to correct. The "why" of what she was repetitively telling me became obvious.   What I thought I was feeling was very different than the picture I was creating. For example, I was almost embarrassed by the glaringly obvious mistakes in my upper body position, specifically in longer lines. This week int the arena I was very cognizant to hold my core up and shoulders back in all exercises.  

With just ONE session of filming a complete lesson, I was well on my way to “remembering” the corrections my trainer has had to constantly remind me. My mind comprehended the extended video recordings versus only verbal coaching. The two techniques used in conjunction act as a very powerful tool for many of us. We practice on the flat through the week and weekends are our jumping days. Tomorrow will be my second jumping lesson when I use the SOLOSHOT 3 and I look forward to reviewing and benchmarking the progress.

Finally, an important part of my village includes personal trainers familiar with exercises in the gym that specifically target the physiological needs of equestrians . The integration of specific cross-training exercise conducted in front of a mirror is already assisting with correcting my upper body flaws.  


If you are serious about improving your skills in any discipline of equestrian sport, I highly recommend investing in the SOLOSHOT3 Optic25Camera.  My recommendation for this model is based on communicating my needs to the company and their feedback. Their advice was spot on. If you are interested in the product, contact SOLOSHOT directly to ensure your are purchasing the model that meets your requirements.

Image Source:

Current Price: $599

For more information and/or to purchase the SOLOSHOT3 with Optic25Camera, visit


(1) Wilson, Barry D. (2008) Development in Video Technology for Coaching?Centre for Biomechanics. National Sports Institute, Malaysia. Downloaded from on July 19, 2018.

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