Pay as you go cellphones for trail riding - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 18 Old 07-08-2013, 08:55 PM Thread Starter
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Pay as you go cellphones for trail riding

I want to go riding in the parks more often. There's always the possibility of getting dumped while out on the trails. A few local emails about people being dumped and their horses going AWOL for a couple of days got me to thinking. How can I find my horse if I fell off on the trail and for some reason he ran off?

We don't have any kind of mounted search and rescue for missing horses, so that's not an option. Maybe one day I'll start one!

A GPS device would be awesome though. I found Advanced Dog GPS Tracking Systems | Tagg the Pet Tracker - which is great, but complicated with the docking station and all that. $100 for the gadget is nothing to sneeze at either, though the $8/month is pretty good.

However... what about a pay as you go cell phone with internet? You can get one for as little as $15. I have an iphone so I'd never actually use the minutes. I could stick it on a saddle bag on the horse so if I fall off and horse loses his mind and runs off, I can track him with the GPS on the phone. If someone catches him, before I could try to track him, they could call me (I'd program my number, my husband's number and my BO's number in the phone).

So, what am I missing? Thoughts?

Does anyone have a pay as you go cellphone? Do they have internet/gps access? Is that extra?
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* I'm often reading and posting from mobile and Siri loves to make a mockery of the English language.
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post #2 of 18 Old 07-08-2013, 09:20 PM
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I think there is a free google service you can basically register the phone number, then look it up on google maps whenever you want. You would only need to keep the minutes current. I have seen it work for moms to track daughters without them really knowing it. Not sure the details though. Only issue I could see would be many areas don't have cell service. However if some one loads horse in trailer you could be steady tracking
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post #3 of 18 Old 07-08-2013, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DancingArabian View Post
I want to go riding in the parks more often. There's always the possibility of getting dumped while out on the trails. A few local emails about people being dumped and their horses going AWOL for a couple of days got me to thinking. How can I find my horse if I fell off on the trail and for some reason he ran off?
If you have an iPod touch, you could leave in securely attached inside a pouch of the saddle pad, and download a certain app on your iphone that allows you to track devices at no cost. We use it between my hubby and I for various reasons, but it would be perfect for what you're trying to do. Private message me if you need the name of the app.
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post #4 of 18 Old 07-08-2013, 10:16 PM
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I think dancer wants to keep her expensive phone with her to use if she comes off, and looking for a cheap tracker to find the horse later.
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post #5 of 18 Old 07-08-2013, 11:36 PM
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I think it seems like a reasonable idea, and as long as the phone isn't too high-end (temptation to thieve, many people possess it unfortunately), and you're in a decent area, then it's solid. I would do it.
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post #6 of 18 Old 07-08-2013, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Joe4d View Post
I think dancer wants to keep her expensive phone with her to use if she comes off, and looking for a cheap tracker to find the horse later.
^^
This. It's safer to keep your phone on you, especially if something truly awful happens and you're knocked out - you can be tracked. I haven't shelled out the 8 dollars yet for the SOS app.

You can download "find my iphone" for free and that does live GPS tracking, but again - I want my phone on me.

I also need a new carrying case for my iPhone. I have the iPhone 5 with the Otterbox Armor case, and the dang thing doesn't fit into anything! I stuff the phone in a cloth pouch, shove it inside my riding vest and tie it to the vest. Not the best option but not much choice until an armband comes out that's big enough!

I get a little paranoid over my horse. He's pretty and I worry that someone unscrupulous would find him and keep him. If I could find a way to keep a tracker on him all the time, I would! But for now, just something for the trails would do.
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post #7 of 18 Old 07-08-2013, 11:41 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by xGirugamesh View Post
I think it seems like a reasonable idea, and as long as the phone isn't too high-end (temptation to thieve, many people possess it unfortunately), and you're in a decent area, then it's solid. I would do it.
Nah. Fancy phone stays with me. Just looking for a cheapie as a tracker. I'm going to look into this further this week and will update as I find out new things.

* I'm often reading and posting from mobile and Siri loves to make a mockery of the English language.
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post #8 of 18 Old 07-08-2013, 11:42 PM
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I put my iPhone in my saddle for just that reason. As far as cost of phone and such, it's just a phone, I can get another, my horse in the other hand......
It fits very well in the opening above the withers.
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post #9 of 18 Old 07-09-2013, 12:07 AM Thread Starter
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I put my iPhone in my saddle for just that reason. As far as cost of phone and such, it's just a phone, I can get another, my horse in the other hand......
It fits very well in the opening above the withers.
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But what if you and the horse are separated and you need to call for help? This is why I'm looking for something separate. I'm not worried about the loss or damage to the phone, but I can't use it to call if it's not with me, and the horse certainly isn't calling anyone if he runs off.*

I'm guessing that's a western saddle. If your horse went off on a solo adventure, it could easily fall out of there, which defeats the purpose of using it to track the horse.


* Though yes of course ideally if you fall off, horse won't run off. He is trained to whoa verbally and is mostly there on coming to a dead stop when I dismount and he's in motion. While I don't think he would run off, things happen and you never know what the situation you could end up in.
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post #10 of 18 Old 07-09-2013, 12:23 AM
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Originally Posted by DancingArabian View Post
But what if you and the horse are separated and you need to call for help? This is why I'm looking for something separate. I'm not worried about the loss or damage to the phone, but I can't use it to call if it's not with me, and the horse certainly isn't calling anyone if he runs off.*

I'm guessing that's a western saddle. If your horse went off on a solo adventure, it could easily fall out of there, which defeats the purpose of using it to track the horse.


* Though yes of course ideally if you fall off, horse won't run off. He is trained to whoa verbally and is mostly there on coming to a dead stop when I dismount and he's in motion. While I don't think he would run off, things happen and you never know what the situation you could end up in.
It actually has stayed very well through crow hops and other, umm sudden movements lol.

I don't ride alone on young/green horses for just that reason. Ok honestly, I might, but totally don't suggest it. ;)

I like your idea, I honestly do. And have my way of using a similar plan.
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