Is There An App For That’

At a horse trial last weekend, I said jokingly to a friend that I was going to go change my clothes and ?turn into a show jumping rider.? She responded, ?Is there an app for that’ Or maybe you could watch some videos on YouTube and learn how to do it!? I thought that was quite a clever commentary on our modern world, one in which we’re always trying to figure out how do things more easily and more quickly, one in which the amazing technology of tiny computer chips and the internet are eliminating records, CDs, phone books, maps and even books. Could these inexorable forces of our culture eliminate the need to actually learn how to ride’ My mind began to ponder how apps could help me around the farm. Well, let’s start with riding. Eventing is what I do, and the hardest part of the sport is that you have to be three kinds of riders?a dressage rider, a cross-country rider and a show jumping rider. It is enticing to think of being able to touch the screen when I want to be a dressage rider and?presto!?I could ride with the feel of Steffen Peters. Then, I could go to the screen again, hit the ?XC Rider? app, and I could ride with the balance and confidence of Phillip Dutton. Finally, when it was time for show jumping, I could press the ?SJ Rider? app and be able to balance my horse for the perfect distance at every fence, just like Rich Fellers. God, that would be great! And, if for some reason I wanted to become an even better rider, I could just pick up my phone again, go to YouTube, and tell it to show me videos of riding lessons. I’m sure that would be so much more helpful (and enjoyable) than actually paying someone to work with me in a sun-drenched, dusty ring (or on a cold, windy day) for an hour. Let me think of other things I could use an app for around the farm. A ?Feed the Horses? app would be a big help, but feeding isn?t that hard. (Of course, that app better order the grain and hay, dump it into the right containers, and pay for it too.) Even better would be a ?Turn Out/ Bring In? app, along with a ?Muck the Stalls? app. Mornings and afternoons would be a breeze! You know what I’d really love’ A ?Spread the Manure? app. That would save me so much time and money if I didn’t have to rent a second tractor to fill the manure spreader and didn’t have to spend two days filling and spreading, filling and spreading, filling and spreading. And I wouldn?t get covered with dust. A ?Clean the Tack? app would be great too. With more than a dozen horses in work, those cleaning hooks fill up with dirty bridles every single day. That app better do saddles too (including polishing the stirrups). A ?Bush-Hog and Weed-eat? app would be fabulous. But I better not have to thread new line into the weed-eater or get the blades sharpened on the bush-hog. I mean, if I had to do something, what would be the point’ Having just driven 1,200 miles to last weekend?s competition in Oregon, I’d just about kill for a ?Drive the Trailer? app right now. If I could just magically show up, ready to ride like Steffen, Phillip and Rich, that would be the best. Of course, if we had all those rider apps and the great YouTube videos, I guess Heater wouldn?t have to teach lessons, because she wouldn?t have any students. ?I’m not sure if she?d like that or not. You know, now that I think of it, tHere’s only one problem with this vision: I don’t have an iPhone or a Droid. I don’t even text. (I have taken a few photos with my phone?I’m great at that.) So I’d have to purchase a new phone and get Heather to teach me how to use it. But I’ll bet tHere’s an app for that too!

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