View Full Version : Pedometer or ?? to track distance

Jan. 24, 2010, 08:28 AM
Hope ya'll can help or offer some insight.

I'm a mounted police officer and I would like to keep track of the distance that I ride each day.

Now, I know I could just jot down my route and get out a map and blah, blah, blah, now that sounds like a pain in the rear.

Is there a pedometer designed for a horse? Or some kind of pocket GPS unit that would give me distance? I imagine GPS would be more accurate.


Jan. 24, 2010, 09:12 AM
The GPS would be more accurate (but needs batteries) and pedometer would be more reliable (but will sacrifice some accuracy). Does your department have any rules about it? I know some police cars can be tracked; is such a technology available for a mounted officer? If it was would you want to use it?

At the end of the day it's likely that this will be a "personal choice" for you and how you operate.

Good luck in making your choice! :)


Painted Horse
Jan. 24, 2010, 01:43 PM
I'd go the GPS route. Not only will you have the mileage, but the avg speed, max speed, you can upload tracks into your computer etc.

Jan. 24, 2010, 01:57 PM
Get a Garmin Forerunner which is like a wrist watch (but bulkier) and has GPS and works really well. At the end of the day you connect it to your computer and will have a great record of distance traveled, average and highest speed, plus a map of where you've been.
The earlier versions (like the 205 and 305) are all on sale now, and maybe your department can buy you one.

Jan. 25, 2010, 09:03 AM
I have one of these: http://www.horseometer.com/ It is fairly accurate, not perfect, but it will give you a good idea of how far you've traveled.

Curb Appeal
Jan. 25, 2010, 09:52 AM
I use a Garmin Forerunner when I go running. I find it to accurate and fairly light weight, but it is quite a bit bigger than a standard wrist watch and might get in your way. Perhaps you could attach it to your saddle.

If you do plan to use a GPS, you'll probably want to get a supply of rechargable batteries, as you'll go through a lot of them if you wear it for full shifts.

Jan. 25, 2010, 01:30 PM
To clarify the above post: The Garmin Forerunner is a GPS device but does NOT need batteries! You just charge it before you use it (charger setup is included when you buy) and it should be good for ten hours. (I assume your shifts are not longer than that ;)

Curb Appeal
Jan. 26, 2010, 12:07 PM
To clarify the above post: The Garmin Forerunner is a GPS device but does NOT need batteries! You just charge it before you use it (charger setup is included when you buy) and it should be good for ten hours. (I assume your shifts are not longer than that ;)

I need to get myself one of those! My Forerunner is the older 101 model, which requires AAAs.

Jan. 26, 2010, 12:43 PM
Thank you!! Yes, squad cars have GPS and when I'm in a squad I can pull up a map and see where everyone is. I'm sure there's many reasons for that, officer safety being one.

I want to buy this on my own for now. In the police world we often find ourselves justifying our existance. My duty is mainly to be a slow moving, highly visible patrol. However, if anyone ever does decide to question how much I accomplish (it's hard to quantify crime prevention) then I'd like to be able to throw some stats at them. Miles traveled per day would be a great thing to show.

I'm going to look into the Forerunner!

Jan. 26, 2010, 01:19 PM
Good on you for thinking ahead. In the often competitive world of "law enforcement funding" it's the "ritz and glitz" and the "golly, gee whiz" technology that gets the $$$. Stuff that has proved effective for decades gets pushed aside because it's not "modern."

A few years back a very large mall in Knoxville had a real problem with car burglaries, purse snatchings, minor assaults, etc. The management engaged a private security company and they hired some riders to just "patrol." The crime rate went quickly to close to zero. As soon as that happened the contract was cancelled and the miscreants returned (although not in the prior numbers).

A number of mounted units have disapeared (including the TVAs mounted unit). That's too bad because there are some jobs that mounted patrols just do better than other systems.

May your unit enjoy long life and success! :)


Feb. 1, 2010, 10:00 AM
I have a Garmin eTrex that I use for trail riding. It calculates time, distance, speed, average speed, can give you longitude and latitude coordinates and is hand held. It takes 2 AAA rechargable batteries. I charge the batteries before I use it and I haven't had a problem with them going dead. It's a really cool little gadget and it's made for hiking so you can add Waypoints and mark your tracks.

Feb. 1, 2010, 10:15 AM
I also recommend the Garmin Forerunner. I use mine all the time for running, riding, hiking, etc. They are very accurate, hardy, and easy to use. Well worth the price.

Feb. 4, 2010, 07:10 PM
I use a Garmin Forerunner also. Mine is rechargeable. Lasts about 11-15 hours depending on the model. Can get a recharger to go in the car too.

It is easy to use. Turn on, and wait for it to sync up, and GO! Way more accurate than some pedometer.

You will be surprised how much you will use it.