First thoughts on the Seaver

As I mentioned last week, my Seaver girth sleeve finally arrived last Wednesday. I originally backed this Kickstarter in summer 2016, so I was really excited to finally get it and try it out. Of course, I left for the horse show the following day, so all I really had time to do last week was read the instructions, charge it, and make sure it synced with the phone app.

I had some issues right off the bat. First of all, the instructions suck. I tried to think of a nicer, more polite term, but there’s no sugar-coating it, they SUCK. It basically shows you how to take all the measurements of your horse so that your data is accurate (although it doesn’t tell you where to input said measurements), where to put the “wither” electrode (but not HOW), and where to put the charger to charge it. Which… the position they tell you to put the sleeve in, in order to charge it, has the wireless charger itself sitting upside down, so that you can’t see the indicator light to tell whether or not it’s actually charging. That’s… not well thought out. I flipped mine around so that I could sandwich the charger inside of it with the edge poking out through the hole just enough to actually SEE the indicator light.

little red light in the bottom left hole

It also came with a bunch of straps but no actual directions telling you what they were for, or how to attach the sleeve to the girth. I had to go on their facebook and look at pictures to make sure I was doing it right. They sent two kinds of straps – little velcro loops (supposedly meant for thinner girths) and longer clamping straps (supposedly meant for belly guard type girths where you need a longer strap). I could not get those stupid little velcro loops very tight at all, they were cumbersome to try to put on and the sleeve didn’t seem very stable, so I switched to the straps. Their longer length means that there’s a lot of excess, but at least I could get it snug on the girth.

I also noticed on the first charge that the app is clearly still buggy. It was truncating my battery percentage, and literally none of the little help or info buttons in the app actually have any information in them. So like… good luck!

what percentage is that, exactly?

Just getting that thing charged and attached to the girth was a little frustrating in itself, but I figured it out and all seemed fine. I must not have been the only one with these issues, because a couple days later Seaver sent out an email with a lot more instructions and photos.

I used it for the first time on Monday, when I took Henry out for just an easy hack in the field. I was a little concerned about the wither electrode and whether or not that would bother him, but no issues with that so far. It’s pretty soft and flexible.

you can see the wire coming out from under the saddle pad and running down to the girth sleeve. I tucked mine through a strap so it wasn’t dangling by my foot.

The first day’s data wasn’t much, we just walked. I did have to laugh at the heart rate graph… it showed a lovely spike at the beginning when Henry spooked at a round bale.

ha

But heart rate data was the only thing it gave me. For everything else it gave me an error message about “abnormal data”. I kinda just shrugged it off, thinking maybe that since we just walked around a field, there wasn’t much data for it to give me.

The next day we did a w/t/c hack out on the hills, still short and sweet, but definitely more data for the sleeve to gather. This time I got heart rate data and gait symmetry, but nothing else. Just the same error message.

That was annoying, but I figured maybe I goofed somehow and didn’t have my girth or the sleeve tight enough, or maybe my dressage girth is too narrow so the sleeve doesn’t sit correctly on it. So yesterday I switched to my jump saddle with it’s wider girth, made 100% sure I had that thing on there super securely, made 100% my girth was tight, used conductivity gel on both electrodes, and did another hack followed by a handful of jumps. Now it should REALLY have plenty of data, right?

Sigh. Nope. Same message.

Ok, so at this point I admit defeat on my own “figure it out myself” skills. I have no idea what I’m doing wrong here. I’ve sent Seaver a Dear God Please Help Me email, because I’m beyond frustrated at this point, trying to make it work. I’ve scoured their social media and website for hints and tips and clues but information is hard to come by. Hopefully they can help me out here and we can get it working. I know other peoples’ are working, so I have to assume it’s something I’m doing. Either way they REALLY need to work on their user guides and help tools.

I hope I’m making some big obvious mistake and am just oblivious to it. I will keep you guys posted… I’d really love it if this thing would work. It’s cool, and it’s rugged, and I like that it’s waterproof, and I like the app interface. They do have a 2 year guarantee on it, so if something’s wrong I feel pretty confident that they’ll make it right. We’re just off to a frustrating start.

UPDATE: Seaver has said that the sensor is too “curved” along his stomach, due to him either being too narrow of barrel or the girth not being wide enough (my jump girth is about 6″ wide, definitely not particularly narrow). They suggested I use the velcro straps in the loops, and then use the clincher straps around the sleeve itself to help stabilize it. Like so:

I’ll try that today!

16 thoughts on “First thoughts on the Seaver

  1. Arrrrgh! WHAT a frustrating start indeed! But serious LOL at the HR spike due to spooking. At least you know he was genuinely afraid and not going through the acrobatics just to get out of work lol

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  2. I tried mine out yesterday for the first time, about a 15-minute ride and it seem to get everything okay, I was a little bit concerned that our maximum heart rate said it was 205 beats per minute for a light hack, but who knows, possibly my horses heart might explode. I’m going to jump today, so we will see how that goes.

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  3. well ugh. that’s really frustrating (especially given the cost of these things!). Hopefully, they get it all figured out and working soon. Data is always fun.

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  4. Mine has done exactly the same today, its so annoying! Apart from on my walking hack I supposedly ‘overtrained’ him for 12 minutes! So frustrating that we’ve spent so much on something that doesn’t even do the job and the intersections are absolutely useless

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  5. Sometimes the additional technology is nice, but sometimes it proves to be cumbersome and frustrating lol. Hopefully you can get it all worked out and it becomes a welcome addition to your rides! If not, you always have your other tracker!!

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  6. I have been working with my Seaver girth sleeve for a couple of months now and have some tips to offer, feel free to contact me.

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  7. So my Polar electrodes got broken, I managed to fix it for a while but it eventually gave up and my V800 watch just wasn’t picking them up anymore. So i thought I’ll get another set.. nope, Polar don’t do them anymore 😭. I looked for an alternative and came across the Seaver girth. It looked amazing, if not a bit pricey, they do a cheaper sleeve version, but I thought I’d use my birthday money and treat myself. Well instructions are a bit thin, doesn’t tell you to turn your Bluetooth off after you’ve used it or you’ll completely drain the girth battery if in range. The first few rides the app crashed and all data lost 😡. So moaned to Seaver, who tried to help. Instructions don’t tell you how to attach the electrode as I discovered my girth straps were pulling it off, which could have resulted in the crashes, or at least I hoped. I also made sure my WiFi was turned off, so as not to confused the, what is turning into a temperamental, app 🙄. Anyway, Seaver told me how to attach it and the next ride I had no problems, it all seemed to work yay 😁. So Sam and I had our final Endurance Ride coming up and the girth packed ready for its first real test. Well it didn’t work properly 😡, even though there was no reason for it not to. Something went wrong with the heartrate graph, so not sure I can trust the stats (see pics), his trot symmetry is very good 50/50, but is it correct as the average speed and distance is wrong, it might have just about got my maximum speed nearly right (polar stats for comparison). Now I did two loops, the 46km loop did register but my second 36km loop did not and all data was lost 😖 AGAIN 🤬🤬🤬.

    I have sent these results to Seaver and they are working on my issues to find out why I’m having so many problems. They have sent me a replacement electrode as the first one got damaged when my girth straps pulled it off, which was nice of them, although wouldn’t have happened if they told you how to put them on properly 😏.

    I really hope they find out what is wrong, personally I think there must be something wrong with the app, or it’ll have to go back as at the moment it it just a very very expensive girth. It has the potential to be a fantastic training tool, what would make it better, apart from it actually working 😉,would be for it to incorporate maps, it uses GPS, so why no map? I did know this, but as I’ve got my Polar v800 it wasn’t a dealbreaker, seems like a wasted opportunity to make the product better. Perhaps that’s in the pipeline as it is a new product and as such I expect some teething problems, but I do expect it to work 😒.

    Update 24th Oct 2018 – well things are no better since the app update, in fact worse if anything, the app just freezes if I go into previous sessions then chucks me out. Told Seaver about this.

    Also I did a short session in the school with a few small jumps, went over them about 10 times and the app only detected 2 😩. Which is funny as on one of my previous training sessions it detected that I’d jumped when I didn’t 😡. . I did question the fact that the speed and distance was wrong, that’s apparently my phones fault 🤔. Anyway I was still willing to give it one last chance before I threw in the towel, so went to charge the girth up the day before in preparation.. guess what, it wouldn’t charge, i tried the charger on both sides, then I videoed it to sent to Seaver, who advised me that I was doing it the wrong way around, i had tried it the other way so I was not to be swayed, I want a full refund.

    Oh no, not as easy as that despite the fact that I have complained since receiving it, two weeks later than it should have been, that it hasn’t worked. I get this response ….

    Sarah, you are in your 30 days trial so a refund is possible. The refund is based on your product condition (if its really clean, a full refund is possible).
    Can we ask you what did you dislike about your Seaver girth ? We did learn a lot thanks to you because you’re the endurance rider with the most long distance training. Now that me know that we adapted our algorithm to this kind of long training.
    You can send back the product to our offices :
    SEAVER
    77 rue d’Aboukir
    75002 PARIS

    I am astounded at this response as I’ve asked for a refund throughout the time I’ve had the girth due to it just not working, but seaver encouraged me to keep using it! Which obviously will affect its condition. Not only are they saying I will not get a full refund, unless it’s clean, so basically I take that to mean brand new, but I am to return the girth at my own expense when I was effectively missold the product as it is just not designed for endurance, despite endurance racing being listed within its disciplines. They have themselves said that they have changed their algorithms from my training as I did the longest training sessions (that’s when the girth actually worked), so as I said I bought this product expecting it to work for my discipline, not to be the guinea pig that paid £500 for the privilege.

    I responded to Seaver regarding my refund and have yet to have had a response, despite the fact they have seen and read my message

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