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Keeping up with the SmartPakers: Weekend Update – July 16, 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…

“Kerri V was my Super Scribe as we spent an exhausting weekend at the King Oak Dressage Days in Southampton, MA, for part D2 of the USDF’s ‘L’ judges training program. It was hot, it was buggy, and the ‘real’ judge rang the bell (actually, a clown car horn) WAY too quickly. Sometimes I could only get a word or two in the Further Remarks section before our tests got snatched up for scoring and examining! Clearly I have lots of studying and practicing to do before Section E—the Final Exam—in September!” – Dr. Lydia Gray, Staff Vet

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“It’s quickly becoming the ‘Summer of Horse Shows’ for me and my horse, Carpe Diem. On Sunday, we travelled to Salisbury, CT, for a sanctioned horse trials at Riga Meadow Equestrian Center. Despite a long drive and hot and humid weather, Diem was an absolute champ. He rocked every step of the Novice cross-country course set in the gorgeous Berkshire Mountains. I can’t wait for our next event!” – Sara F., Creative


“I spent the day on Saturday with my friends Liz Maloney DVM and Jocelyn Souliere as we trailered Liz’s three high level jumpers to Redgate Farm in Newtown CT, the home of Olympian Leslie Burr Howard, for some lessons.” – Susan T., Sales

Stay tuned for a more in-depth update from Susan, coming later this week!


“For a year now, I’ve been keeping a big secret from my kids—we’re going to Disney World! This weekend, I finally got to spill the beans. We had a little ‘reveal’ party with my parents and my brother’s family, who are all joining us. We made Mickey-shaped pizzas together and ended the night with some delicious Mickey cookies. The kids are definitely excited, as you can see in the video!” – Kristen I., Marketing


“Witness and I went on the road again, this time to the Vermont Summer Festival. One day I actually got to sit on the sidelines and cheer Witness and my trainer, Laurel, on as they competed in the NEHJ Derby. Laurel and Witness scored an 84 and an 86 in the second round to place 2nd overall. I was so proud! He spends nearly all of his time babysitting me so it was fun to see my sweet boy showing off his real talent. My trainer’s ride was awe-inspiring and I pictured her bold ride to a big 3’6” oxer when I had to canter up to my much smaller version the next day. It was VERY hot all weekend and my phone even showed signs of heat exhaustion!”
– Renee P., Merchandising


“I am one of the rare cases here at SmartPak, I broke my pelvis, and it was not from a horse riding accident. I took up a ‘safer’ hobby: triathlons. About 4 weeks ago, I took a nasty fall on my bike, resulting in a fractured pelvis. This past weekend was my first weekend where I started to feel a bit like my old self. I was able to get to the beach and enjoy some of the beautiful weather we have been having. On top of being able to get outside for a few hours, my brother, sister in-law and nephews came to visit from NY. Here are pictures of my two nephews, Camden (just about 3) and Grady (1) enjoying the beach and outdoors. Babies are much cuter then seeing a picture of the injured girl on the beach with crutches.” – Kate M., Marketing


“This weekend my barn back home (on the other side of MA) hosted a Bernie Traurig clinic. Due to a hectic schedule I wasn’t able to coordinate riding in it this year (hopefully next year) but I did play jump crew for the weekend and very possibly learned even more than I would have had I been in the saddle! We also hosted a Q&A BBQ on Saturday night—pretty cool to have drinks and hang out with a legend!” – Lara W., Merchandising
Photo courtesy of


“This weekend was Kid’s Day! Every year the fire department organizes a 4-day carnival to help raise money for different youth organizations in town. It is 4 days of rides, yummy food, fireworks, a car show, and a parade. It starts Thursday night with the carnival and the car show. Friday is carnival all day and the firework ‘warm-up’ show that night. Saturday morning is the fire truck parade with fire trucks from all of the surrounding towns with lights, sirens, and horns full blast. Then the BIG fire work show is Saturday night. Sunday is an easy day of just enjoying the rides. It’s a great program that raises a lot of money and is something look forward to every year. My little guy loves every minute of it, especially the carousel horses!!!” – Briana K., Customer Care


“It was far too hot this weekend, but we decided to tough it out and head up to Suffolk Downs to watch some thoroughbred racing. We were sweating just sitting and watching, but it was fun to watch (we didn’t bet, which is good because all the horses I liked lost) and great to see how the horses were taken care of in this heat. We then tried to go to an Irish Pub in Boston proper, but our iPhone’s GPS decided to take us to Union Street in a Boston suburb instead. After that misadventure, we spent the rest of the weekend laying low!”
– Jessica D., Customer Care


“This weekend my friend Kelsey and I decided we were going to take our horses swimming! This was the first time I had ever had Chandler near a pond and oh boy, he did not want to get in! It took a 20-minute ‘discussion’ just to get his ankles wet! I am now determined that Chandler will LOVE swimming by the end of the summer.”
– Jessica B., Production


“I took a break from horses last weekend and went up to Maine with my most adorable niece and family. So many fun things to do! Strawberry picking, kayaking, swimming, reading on the porch, walks with the dog and, my favorite, the afternoon nap. We even took my niece for her very first riding lesson at Blazing Star Stables, where she rode a wonderfully gentle QH named Howdie and had a blast.” – Jen B., SmartPak Retail Store


“This weekend (and last week) I stayed in Fenwick Island, Delaware with my fiancé’s family. We took a day trip to Assateague Island to see the famous Chincoteague ponies! The picture below was taken on the island’s campgrounds. The ponies had no fear and walked right up to the campers and tents! It was very tempting to walk up and pet them, but there were signs and warnings all over the grounds with photos of people who had been bitten and kicked, reminding visitors that they are wild. Very pretty to look at though!” – Claire G., IT


“This past Saturday, Gina and I took our first Natural Horsemanship lesson with our horses Boba and Nemo. It was a great experience, and something that I personally have never seen before. Both horses are new and very young, so I can’t wait to learn and progress more with them.” – Ellen B., Customer Care


“I spent the weekend in Upstate NY with my chocolate lab Toblerone just having a lot of fun. Romping through hay fields, catching largemouth bass, and sleeping by the pool were just a few items on our ‘dog days of summer’ to do list” – Meaghan M., SmartPak Retail Store


“Last week we went up to the beautiful White Mountains of NH for some R&R.

At first, Rufus was confused, as he is not one who embraces change.

He even went as far as telling us how much he didn’t approve of his new ‘home.’

But after some good food, and great scenery, he finally relaxed. Just in time to come home!” – Jon D., IT


“On Saturday, I went to the barn and rode four horses. It was great to be back in the saddle! Sunday we brought our puppy out to ice cream for the first time. He thought it was the best thing ever!” – Kaitlyn B., Web Marketing


“Henry enjoyed an ice cream at the waterfront while attending the Folk Festival in Plymouth, MA.”
– Tierney H., Customer Care


“I gave my kitty Rudy a BIG hug this weekend! He LOVED it, believe me!” – Jill M., Customer Care


“This weekend I attended a concert by Walk the Moon, went on two fabulous trail rides with my good friend Elizabeth R. and her gallant steed Sam, had a family cookout and watched the Taunton Gladiators take the win in a great home game Saturday night. Very busy, very wonderful, weekend.” – Michelle M., Customer Care


“I visited Mountain Lake Hotel in Virginia, which is better known as Kellerman’s from Dirty Dancing! My entire family (30+ people) went and we spent the first morning trying to get everyone lined up for a family portrait. The hotel lived up to its movie reputation by having all sorts of planned activities (such as archery, horseshoes, lawn chess, etc.). Most of my time, of course, was spent reliving scenes from the movie. And now to catch up on a week of emails…” – Elizabeth R., Customer Care


“I have been taking my two dogs, Sam and Puu, boating the last few weekends. They tag along on the boat as we tube and wakeboard. They have already mastered the chilling out part, but this past weekend they made great progress in learning to jump off the boat on their own and swim around (we anchor close to an island so they can go run around a bit). The weather has been extremely hot lately here in MA so it’s great they are learning the joy of cooling off in the lake!” – Molly H., Merchandising


“Yesterday I had a ton of fun watching polo with my boyfriend’s family at beautiful Giant Valley Farm!”
– Marisa C., Customer Care


“This weekend my Fiancé, John, and I went and stayed with my parents. We had dinner and a bon fire Saturday night, and Sunday morning we went to the shooting range to shoot trap. While I have shot my parents’ handguns before, I have never shot a rifle. Both of my parents are great shooters and amazing teachers, so it was a blast. I shot my Mom’s Beretta 12-gauge and hit 4 out of 15 rounds, not bad for my first time. And of course John and my parents shot like old pros. Shooting trap is almost as addicting as horses… almost! I was the most stylish girl there in my Dubarry Barbados Deck shoes!” – Autumn I., Merchandising


“A little spirit goes a long way, especially on moving day. Dressage #1!!!” – James G., Customer Care


“It was a weekend spent on/in the water. I have to say it was a GREAT way to spend a hot summer weekend. More refreshing than horse showing in 100+ degree temps last weekend! On Saturday, my husband and I headed down to the marina to do some work (and relaxing) on our recently-acquired sailboat, Kiwi. He’s an experienced sailor and I am just learning the ropes, but am realizing it is so similar to my riding obsession in many ways. The hours tick by much like the time warp I seem to enter whenever I head to the barn. Do a boat project, go for a swim, sit in the sun, repeat! On Sunday, we headed out to Stellwagen Bank on a friend’s power boat to do some whale watching. The only whales we saw were on the fishfinder sitting a few hundred feet below our boat (kind of unsettling to see something HUGE below your boat). We all enjoyed the day regardless. We turned the engines off and just drifted along, jumping off the boat to swim and BBQing to pass the time. Capped-off the day by taking the boat into Boston to watch planes take off over the harbor and have cannolis at Mike’s Pastry in the North End.” – Colby B., Marketing


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