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RE: [RC] Heart rate monitors - Mike Sofen

A lot really depends on whether you’ll be using it just for the horse, or for you as well.  If you (not the horse) do any kind of real training (like running, cycling, etc), the ONLY way to know for certain that you are working at the appropriate aerobic level is with a HRM.  If you think you’ll want to do that, then a unit with a high/low alarm is very useful so that you don’t have to keep looking at the watch.  Plus, a chronometer function so that you can time your workout, and a watch function so that you know when you’re late for work or dinner. 


Now, for the horse – alarms are worthless and a pain, so even on the elaborate HRMs, I never activate them…it always seems like they’re going off at the wrong time.  If you train scientifically, then the models that store the HR readings for download into a computer are useful.  However…I have one such unit and never download the data.  I kind of memorize the readings and the next time I ride, compare that day’s readings against my memory.


So, for horse-only use, the expensive/elaborate ones are not worth the money except for unusual situations.  I like models with large characters (easier to read), a nightlight, and a watch/chrono function.  Since I like to know what kind of elevation gain/loss we do during a training ride on a new trail, I like to have an altimeter, but that’s a “nice-to-have”.


Costco.com right now has a great price on an excellent human-only HRM from Omron (excellent manufacturer) for $38.  Find a set of horse transmitter/electrodes for maybe $40 and you’re good to go.  Get the new waterproof ones where you can’t change the battery, they are much more robust than the older style.


Mike Sofen


From: Suzi Maiorisi

I had a really good month in November and I'm ready to invest in a HRM...there are LOTS of choices out there and being new, I'd like to know what I'm getting before I buy.  My technological side says get all the bells and whistles, but I also wonder just how much I'd use all that in real life.  Any ideas would be appreciated.



[RC] Heart rate monitors, Suzi Maiorisi