Today February 11th 2023, is International Day of Women And Girls In Tech And Science, and we at Equitas wanted to mark it. However, off the top of my head, I couldn't think of anyone that fit the criteria within the equine industry. But that couldn't be right?! Just because you don't know them or can't see them, doesn't mean they're not there!
So, I looked at my own equestrian journey and asked myself what Equestrian Websites do I use?
What Equestrian apps do I have on my phone?
What Apps have I listened to people rave about?
Now, who founded them? Who created them? And who deserves a "thank you"?
During the research phase, I was pleasantly surprised to see that quite a number of my go-to- Apps were female founded and / or developed.
Following my research I found myself being completely inspired by the women behind the scenes, their vision, their drive and the sheer "I'm going to do it" attitude they possess. When they encountered something that they believed needed to be changed or could be done better, they went and they did it!
So, this day and this article is for them.
I hope that by the end of this article, you too will be inspired by these powerhouses and perhaps it may even encourage you to think laterally and take a leap!
Previously known as The Snaffle App, App Equine is designed to help horse owners take the stress out of management and aiming to improve horse welfare.
The app was built by UK based, Jennifer Williams and her partner Rich, after Jennifer's beloved horse George became lame, underwent tests and needed a complicated regime of medication.
Jennifer also explains that with her dyslexia and dyscalculia, remembering dates, numbers and orders for George's strict management routine, was extremely difficult and overwhelming - she (and presumably many others!) needed help!
Then during the hard times of the Pandemic when horse owners weren't able to be the primary carer for their horses, App Equine added the smart share function. This allowed horses to be cared for by other people without extensive lists being written each time. It can also be amended in real time giving both owner and yard managers invaluable peace of mind.
I feel this app is a must have for any horse-owner or yard manager. We are all so busy that time flies and before you know it, its time for vaccinations / farrier etc . We could all do with the extra brain space and APP Equine helps you get it!
The Cross Country App was created by an Australian based family, originally from Yorkshire, England. The Diaconos have been creating equestrian and other websites for many years.
Jose (Mum) is the manager, marketer, tester and first level support. James (Son) is a software architect and programmer and Helen (Daughter) events at 2* and is the designer and chief product strategist.
This app enables riders to prepare and train more effectively by exploring cross country courses in advance.
Riders can record their course walks with GPS making it an ideal tool for reviewing a map of the course, including photos, notes, striding and minute markers - This app was invaluable to me while competing internationally. I would walk the course many times but this app allowed me to go over the finer details until they were instinctive. It allowed me to visualise my XC round. My CLEAR XC rounds!
Ridely is an app designed to educate equestrians, giving them a suitable digital tool to encourage them to develop and reach their greatest potential - no matter if they want to compete or simply have fun with their horse.
Founded in 2017 by Ingrid Sundqvist, Totta Ogander and Erika Hjertén in Sweden - it gives riders 400+ videos to help them improve together with their horse. Videos cover a wide range of disciplines and exercises such as Dressage, Jumping, Gridwork, In - hand, Grooming, Western and many more. Training and challenges can be found in the Ridely app from Olympic Level Riders such as Charlotte Dujardin, Carl Hester, Ingrid Klimke, William Fox-pitt!
This is not one that I have personally tried yet but I am all for education! Having access to such a high standard of training, for all levels makes the sport accessible to those who otherwise would miss out on this training.
My ShowAdvisor was founded by Geraldine Allen (Mum of Bertram Allen) here in Ireland and it is proving to be “the most comprehensive Show Jumping resource available. Using My ShowAdvisor means it has never been easier for riders, grooms, owners and followers of the sport to plan their horse shows.”
Some of its features include: Multi-discipline Calendars, Show Schedules, Results, Livestream Links, Local Hotel & Restaurant recommendations, Addresses & Maps for Stabling en route to the Show - Everything that an equestrian team would find beneficial while on the road.
Having been on the road many times with horses, even a well planned trip can cause anxiety because you are responsible for travelling those animals. We need to do everything in our power to ensure safe travels from A to B with many legs to the journey to be considered. Having the peace of mind that you have all the information you will need at your fingertips will make for easier journeys and hopefully good performances!
Dressage Anywhere is a worldwide online dressage competition website founded by Ruth Chappell in the UK. Ruth primarily works for a global educational publisher, managing and delivering complex software projects. She also owns her own business providing project management and technical consultancy.
Having launched in 2010, it has gone from strength to strength and now has members from 96 countries around the world. It is also the first online dressage competition & training website approved by British Dressage meaning training classes and judging is conducted by Listed BD Judges.
Riders have the option to choose any BD, BE, PC or RDA test to perform in their own environment and the video is then submitted online. Feedback is prompt and riders can participate in championships at many levels. It is an ideal way to practice ahead of a live event and it also makes competing a viable option for those who use non-standard tack (bit-less bridles, western saddles etc.) or those with limited resources to travel to shows.
Dressage Anywhere has made competing accessible. It has given people the option to grow and improve quietly and given them the confidence to go out and compete with their horses in person. I recommend that a lot of my Equicoach Online clients use Dressage Anywhere as their competition platform and they have always been happy with the experience.
“If You Can’t See It, You Can’t Be It”
This article features a sample of lots of great equestrian businesses and subsequent apps that have been founded and developed by female entrepreneurs. I hope like myself, you have come away inspired and empowered by what these women have done and the positive impact they have had on the equestrian industry.
By writing about it, I am hopeful that there may be a woman or a girl in the same position I was, not knowing anyone in the tech sphere and now that they have seen "it", perhaps they will be inspired to "be it".
We will continue to feature “Women in Tech” on Equitas.ie, shining a spotlight on their achievements within the industry and giving them the recognition they deserve. Thank you to the Women and Girls of Science and Tech.
Sarah Elebert x