Keeping up with the SmartPakers: Weekend Update – June 25, 2012

During the week, you know our life is no mystery: we are here working hard to make you happier and your horse healthier. But what do we do on the weekend, you ask? The mystery is finally revealed! Read about what SmartPakers did this past weekend and see if any of our adventures sound similar to yours…

“Last weekend Macy and I attended an AQHA show. Over the last few months we have had a lot of success together in the showmanship, but last weekend we finally made our big debut together in the western pleasure and horsemanship. I couldn’t have asked for it to go any better! Macy was a good girl and we ended up winning both the novice amateur horsemanship and western pleasure under both judges and went on to finish the weekend with top placings in the showmanship as well. I had a blast showing Macy in these new classes and can’t wait to do it again in July at our next show!” – Karen S., IT


“This weekend I rode my new horse, Razz, in our first dressage show together. He was a very good boy except when it came to the judge’s stand—he wouldn’t go near it on the second test. Either that or he misread the test and thought there were half passes in Intro. The funniest part was that despite our score, we still ended up 2nd in a class of four because one horse scratched and another was excused. Go Razz!”
– Elizabeth R., Customer Care


“Sunday I took my new horse to her very first event at Apple Knoll Farm. She couldn’t have been better – we had an amazing dressage test (25%), jumped clean around our first real stadium course (x-rails!), and conquered the XC ‘speed bumps’ (tiny logs.) Great first experience for her, and lots of fun for me!”
– Jen B., SmartPak Store in Natick, MA


“My horse, Diem, and I had blast jumping a few rounds at a schooling show. He was a trooper in the 80-degree heat, putting in clear rounds in all his classes, even at Training level height. He came away with a few more blue ribbons to add to the collection on his stall!” – Sara F., Creative


“Gave my event horse, Timex, a break this weekend and went sailing—my husband’s counter-measure to my riding habit. We bought a sailboat named ‘Kiwi’ that just arrived after a 21-day trip from Florida. Had fun sailing around Buzzard’s Bay and anchored in Hadley Harbor for lunch (where you can sometimes see horses grazing along the water’s edge). Trip was a little nerve-wracking, kind of like that first ride on a new horse, but we had a beautiful day (no major incidents) and a ton of fun!” – Colby B., Marketing


“This weekend I went on a 2-hour trail ride with my barn friends, Lori and Martha. We went to Rocky Narrows in Sherborn, MA. It was beautiful weather and the horses were great!” – Jessica S., Customer Care


“I spent the weekend cleaning cat hair off of our new footrest! Okay, I’m sure I did more than that, but who can resist looking at this face?” – Kassidy B., Customer Care


“Rachel M. and I spent our weekend playing with my ponies, Skyler and Cucumber, and getting ready to accompany Team Smartpak at our Annual Jumper Show!!”
– Megan A. and Rachel M., SmartPak Store in Natick, MA


“I had an awesome weekend! I headed up to the White Mountains in NH to go camping for the weekend. I got caught in a thunderstorm as I was out hiking, but I got some great views of the White Mountains before the storms came in. Then, as I was hiking down in the rain, I saw a mother moose with her baby moose chilling on the side of the trail, and also saw some very pretty waterfalls.” – Katie G., Customer Care


“This weekend we took my horse, Bug, swimming, saw a double rainbow and made a bonfire on the beach!”
– Marisa C., Customer Care


“Sunday was a perfect summer day. My buddy and I decided to spend it SUP’ing (Stand Up Paddleboarding) on the Cape. With any great session, half the battle is finding a great location and I had a few on my mind that I wanted to try out. We finally hit upon a hidden gem in Barnstable. We caught the tide just right , it was mid-to-low tide. Amazing sand dunes, smooth ankle deep water with little sand bars peaking up over the water in many locations provided the perfect ingredients for our amazing 3-hour SUP ride.” – Elvis T., Web Marketing


“We’ve been working very hard on our vegetable garden this year and did not want any critters enjoying it. So this weekend my daughter and I decided to make some scarecrows. Hope these are scary enough!”
– Khamla S., IT


“This weekend I attended my friend’s engagement party and even though I’m pretty sure there aren’t going to be any wedding bells ringing anytime soon for me, it got me going on wedding ideas of my own. Horses have been such a big part of everything I do, from the posters and ribbons on my bedroom walls as a kid, the major I picked in college, to my position here at SmartPak where I get to talk about them every day! So how could I not be dreaming up a wedding filled with horses?” – Michelle M., Customer Care


“Creatives of SmartPak, Unite! The in-house print and catalog designers of SmartPak had the fantastic opportunity to attend HOW Design Live over the weekend, which was conveniently located in Boston this year at the Hynes Convention Center. HOW Design is a graphic design conference where creative professionals can gather to rethink our approach to work and life, connect with like-minded allies, hear from creative visionaries, and discover new tools to make our job more satisfying and productive. A big “thank you” to SmartPak for the chance to attend this inspiring, rejuvenating and creativity-boosting experience!”
- Karen M., Holly A., Megan L., Cassie H., Carrie S., Sara F., Creative


“This weekend I had my second riding lesson ever! As a member of the Web Marketing team, equine experience isn’t required but the longer I work here, the more I want to learn about horses. In my first lesson we practiced walking, stopping, and turning. In my lesson this past Saturday we moved on to posting and getting the horse to trot. In this picture my instructor had the lesson horse, Quent, on a lunge line while I kept my hands on my hips and practiced posting. It took me a while to get it, but finally at the end of my lesson I found my rhythm. It was a great feeling! I can’t wait to see what I’ll learn in my next lesson.” – Cathleen V., Web Marketing


“This weekend I went to the Phantom Gourmet BBQ Beach Party at City Hall in Boston. I waited in insane lines for the BEST BBQ ribs EVER. I then stood in a crowded T entrance at Copley Square to avoid the sudden torrential rainstorm. It was AWESOME!” – Jessica D., Customer Care


“My 9-year-old daughter started taking Lessons from Kristina S. in Creative. She doesn’t have all her gear yet but is wearing her helmet along with snow boots, which are her ‘riding’ boots for now!” – Brian M., Production 


“This Sunday, Palermo and I showed Training 2 and 3 at the Heritage Dressage show and we did awesome. Although we didn’t get great ribbons because the classes were really large, our scores were the highest they have ever been! It makes me feel great to know that everything we have been working on has paid off, now we just have to perfect that darn stretchy circle that gets us every time! Despite the heat and the extremely long day, I was all smiles and could not be more proud of my amazing horse! And of course, I was wearing the Bradley Performance Shortsleeve Show Shirt! My favorite shirt eveeeeer!!!”
– Autumn I., Merchandising


“This weekend I ran a 5K with fellow SmartPakers Kaitlyn, Erica, Roni and Ellen. Although it poured most of the morning, the rain cleared just in time for us to run. We all had a great race and snapped this photo at the finish.” – Kerri V., Marketing


“On Sunday I participated in my first triathlon race in Cohasset, Massachusetts. This race included a π-mile swim in the Atlantic, a 12-mile bike ride, and a 3.2-mile run. I decided last October to do triathlons and chose Cohasset because it is a premier race on the East Coast. After six months of training and preparation race day seemed to come so quickly! My family was all there to cheer me on. What a fantastic experience! I liked it so much I’ll be doing 4 more this summer.” – Keith Q., IT


“My horse, Erik (Unlisted), proved himself worthy of being sainted this weekend when we were crowned Adult Amateur Hunter Champion at Fieldstone! The crazy part is that with a busy weekend work schedule for the summer, I was not able to ride much since our last show in May. Fortunately, after 11 years, we know each other pretty well and Erik was amazing as always! I’m very lucky to have a dependable partner like him, a great barn that keeps him fit and healthy and a great job for allowing me to go show on a Friday.” – Annie C., Marketing


“I had a great weekend! I made it to the barn nice and early on Saturday. I rode three horses, and I got to catch-up and ride with a long-lost horse friend! I spent the rest of my weekend relaxing and playing with Brewski, our new 9-week-old boxer puppy! We ended the weekend in true Cape Cod fashion with a delicious clam boil!” – Katlyn B., Web Marketing


“I visited good friends and my old boss from the thoroughbred breeding farm that I interned at in Virginia. They now work at WinStar in Versailles, KY and I flew down there to experience the ‘Horse Capital of the World’ and see Lexington for the first time! I had a lot of fun touring WinStar and seeing all of their breeding and training facilities. My favorite part was meeting the infamous Distorted Humor and getting to play with all of this year’s foals! Nothing puts a smile on my face like some frisky foals with those long thoroughbred legs! I also enjoyed the Kentucky Horse Park and meeting horses like Cigar and Funny Cide!” – Paige Z., Customer Care


“On Saturday, Kristen, Casey and I had a 3-hour mini clinic with our trainer, a local Parelli Professional. All three of our horses are at very different stages in their training, so it is awesome to work as a group because we get the opportunity to learn from each other. We started with a groundwork session, then saddled the horses. Kristen had an awesome ride with her 16-year-old Thoroughbred gelding, Kucha. They worked on developing better connection and engagement and ended with an amazing trot and gorgeous canter transitions that looked good enough for a 3rd level dressage test! Casey has a 5-year-old Morgan gelding named Newt who is very sweet and smart. While this was her first official Parelli lesson, it was obvious she’s done her homework since purchasing Newt last year she is already excelling with the core ground skills, and ended with a lovely ride on Newt as well. My Thoroughbred mare, Graysea, just turned 4 and is the greenest horse in our group. From the ground we worked on keeping her focused and thinking about where her feet are (something she loses track of easily!). We then played with saddling and getting her used to my brand new saddle at the trot and canter with stirrups flapping. After a little bit of excitement she settled right down and we ended the session with our trainer getting up and down on her a few times. Next lesson, I’ll be getting in the saddle.” – Jessica N., Marketing


“My kids have been begging me to go on a pony ride ever since we had to leave the line at the 4-H pony ride due to an uncooperative pony. Luckily, delivering on a promise of a pony ride is easy when you work at SmartPak! This Sunday, I took my kids, Rose and Max, to my friend and coworker, Katie’s, barn to ride her pony, Juliet. Max and Rose had a wonderful time riding and giving Juliet treats. Rose drew a picture to say, ‘Thank You’ to Katie and Juliet.” – Kristen I., Marketing


How did YOU spend your weekend? Got pictures? Share ‘em at Facebook.com/SmartPakEquine!

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Jen and Tally
Apparently I've been obsessed with horses since I was born, and I used to beg for pony rides on a regular basis. I started showing in 4-H, progressed to equitation and jumpers in high school and rode on the IHSA team in college where I also discovered the joys...

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