Remembering David Birdsall

David-Birdsall

We are so very sad to learn of the recent passing of David Birdsall, a friend in the local horse community. David was the proprietor of Silver Oak Equestrian Center in Hampton Falls, NH, and a friend of SmartPak’s. I personally have participated in several horse shows at Silver Oak, both as a competitor, as well as a representative of SmartPak and I looked forward to these events every year. I had gotten to know David over the past couple of years as he became more involved with the day-to-day operations of this beautiful facility that he cared about so much. One of the highlights of my summer last year was enjoying a backyard barbeque hosted by David for many of the staff after a long day at the horse show. He was a superb “grill master” and really good at getting people to eat more than we should have.

David Birdsall_2

Just two weekends ago, I was with two other SmartPakers, Courtney and Becky, auditing a Jumper clinic at Silver Oak. David and I were laughing about the story of his Great Dane, Libby, who was rarely out of David’s sight. One night last summer, Libby dragged David out of bed, barking uncontrollably. Turns out their mini, affectionately known as “Cinnamini,” got loose and was tearing around the paddocks in the middle of the night! Libby knew that was not where Cinnamini belonged and it was her job to do something about it.

Courtney_2

We sincerely thank David for welcoming SmartPak to Silver Oak, both our products and our team. Our hearts go out to David’s family and friends during this difficult time.

Susan Tuller

Susan as a rider: I've grown up riding hunter/jumpers since the age of 9, but have ridden a bit of dressage and polo as well. I find learning and practicing classic equitation to be continuously challenging but truly fulfilling. Proper flatwork has allowed me to progress in my jumping abilities on different horses. I feel so fortunate to truly enjoy flatting since it has grown the foundation of being able to ride just about any horse I'm fortunate enough to sit on. Susan as a SmartPaker: I can honestly say that work doesn't usually feel like work. I head up the Barn Team so I get to talk to Barn Professionals all over the country, and their clients, about customized supplement programs to make their horses look and feel better. I travel to trade shows where I get to meet our Barn Pros as well as our customers, new and existing customers, with the face-to-face interactions rounding out what I love about my "job." All about Excel: I have had my horse Excel for 14 years. He is a 16-3 hand bay Oldenburg gelding and is the light of my life. I grew up riding, but never had a "show" horse until I bought him. I had little idea what I was in for, but I have so enjoyed the ride. We started in the Schooling Hunters when he was 6, moved up to the Adult Amateurs and Adult Equitation. Excel then ribboned in the First Year Division at the Marshall and Sterling Finals at age 10 and from then we moved to the Lo Adult Jumpers competing from New England to New York and Ocala. We ended our career in the Hi Adult Jumpers and I couldn't have been more pleased. We stopped showing last year as he told me he was happy to continue jumping but at home. I enjoy riding in the Indoor ring, but not nearly as much as when we are able to ride in our outdoor ring or our big field, jumping, flatting and sometimes just during really long walks. He had taught me so much about setting and achieving my riding goals, hard work, and mostly about patience. I just love it when he hears my voice and nickers, even before I walk over to his stall. Brings a smile to my face every single time.

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