Best smartwatch for horseback riding

Which smartwatch is best for equestrians? 

Apple smartwatches made the scene in early 2015, but they weren’t the first to arrive at the party. Seiko’s Ruputer was a computer on your wrist that popped up in 1998, followed quickly by Samsung’s SPH-WP10 watch phone that same year. These days, smartwatch options are everywhere, and equestrians are combining them with purpose-built apps to track the length and intensity of their ride, plus their own fitness.

The best smartwatch for equestrians is easy to use, has a healthy battery life and is packed with relevant features. The Apple Watch Series 7 fits that description.

Smartwatch features for horseback riding

Long battery life

A long battery life ensures that you won’t be stranded in the middle of your trail ride with no GPS or emergency contacts. 

Workout tracker

Workout trackers are a crucial part of every smartwatch. They also let you customize the type of workout, from swimming to riding horses to taking a quick stroll around the block. 

Health data tracking

If you have set health goals for the year, a smartwatch can track your progress. Many now include things such as monitoring of vital signs — for example, blood pressure and sleep).

Connectivity and compatibility

Your smartwatch should connect easily to any available internet signal, Wi-Fi or cellular. For horseback riding, you’ll also need a watch compatible with available equestrian-specific apps (e.g., Equilab, Equitrail and Equisense).

Additional features

Look for additional features such as:

  • Waterproof housing
  • Interchangeable bands
  • Ability to sync with other devices 
  • Ability to record notes

Are smartwatches for horseback riding worth it?

Some equestrians use a paper journal to record rides and take notes after their horse is cooled and put away. While this method works, you may forget vital information if you wait too long to write down what you’ve done, how long you’ve ridden and anything else. A smartwatch captures this data the moment it happens. 

But a smartwatch is also a big investment. Prices start at $150 and can reach well over $700. It’s important to take the time to evaluate all your options and choose which is best for you and your horse. 

Best smartwatches for horseback riding

Top smartwatch for horseback riding

Apple Watch Series 7 

What you need to know: It offers comprehensive features that can be enhanced with apps.

What you’ll love: Its screen is 20% larger than the Series 6 watch’s. You can track things such as heart rate and oxygen level with a display that’s always on and 2.5 times brighter in the sunlight. For horseback riding over rough terrain, it offers one additional, crucial feature: it can detect when you’ve fallen hard and call emergency services for you.  

What you should consider: Some users found the battery life was short.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top smartwatch for horseback riding for the money

Polar Vantage M2

Polar Vantage M2 

What you need to know: It’s great for fitness tracking in general but shines with features dedicated to horseback riding.

What you’ll love: A horseback-riding setting available from the Polar app can sync with all of your devices. The battery charges fast and holds a charge for up to 30 hours of continuous use. It also has weather notifications that can warn you when it’s time to head back to the barn. It’s bilingual, working in English and Spanish.

What you should consider: Some users found it hard to read in the sunlight.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Most stylish smartwatch for horseback riding

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4

Samsung Galaxy Watch 4  

What you need to know: This smartwatch is sleek and stylish, with features designed for active equestrians.

What you’ll love: The fall detection setting alerts emergency contacts — a great safety feature. It has Bluetooth and wireless connectivity to download horse-related apps, plus it monitors heart rate and other health data.

What you should consider: There are no built-in equestrian apps.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top fast-charging smartwatch for horseback riding

 Fitbit Sense Advanced Smartwatch

Fitbit Sense Advanced Smartwatch  

What you need to know: Fitbit continues to offer a well-rounded lineup of smartwatches, perfect for horseback riding.

What you’ll love: The Fitbit Sense tracks the basics of your health and workout — heart rate, skin temperature and more — but also has a horseback setting. It charges in just 12 minutes for all-day use.

What you should consider: The touchscreen is a bit dull, and some users report that the band doesn’t stay clasped. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top ‘light’ smartwatch for horseback riding

Fossil Gen 5E

Fossil Gen 5E  

What you need to know: It’s an affordable, stylish watch for basic health and fitness monitoring.

What you’ll love: It comes with interchangeable leather and silicone bands to take you from a long, hard ride to your Saturday night date. It features an always-on display that is easy to read and provides basic health data such as number of steps and your heart rate.

What you should consider: GPS is not a feature of this watch.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top smartwatch for rough horseback riding

Garmin Instinct Solar Heart Rate Monitor

Garmin Instinct Solar Heart Rate Monitor  

What you need to know: This solar-charging watch is perfect for multi-day backcountry trail rides.

What you’ll love: It holds a charge for up to 54 days. The design is durable and can take a beating. It also has a compass, plus a barometer to track weather conditions. 

What you should consider: It doesn’t charge well in low light.

Where to buy: Sold by Backcountry

Top workout-focused smartwatch for horseback riding

Polar Vantage V2

Polar Vantage V2 

What you need to know: This watch uses Training Load Pro and Recovery Pro to follow your workout from the beginning all the way to recovery.

What you’ll love: It has great standard workout features, including heart monitoring and recovery tracking. It tracks the intensity of workouts and also features turn-by-turn GPS navigation — great for trail riding.

What you should consider: Some users reported that it randomly stops tracking heart rate for brief periods.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Suzannah Kolbeck writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
 

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