Keeping up with the SmartPakers: Weekend Update – April 15, 2013

Kaitlyn-Zaleski

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 revealed! Read about what SmartPakers did this past week and see if any of our adventures sound similar to yours…

Katherine-Gazdziak

Last weekend, several of us on the Sales Team participated in a charity walk in Plymouth to support the National MS Society. The Team SmartPak walkers included Kelcie, Mary, Dorothy, myself, and Tierney along with her dog Henry.

It was a beautiful day and we all completed the walk (even Henry). It was also a really fun way to raise money for a great organization! – Katherine G., Customer Care


Jessica-Blackberg

I had a bit of a relaxing weekend! I worked on Saturday, then went to go see a movie with fellow SmartPaker Kaitlin T. On Sunday Kaitlin and I spent a relaxing day shopping at Kohl’s for a bit, then we went to the barn to have some hanging out time with our ponies! After a trip to the barn-I was just relaxing on my couch when my cat Nikki decided she didn’t like her water dish anymore and would much rather drink out of my glass. I thought it was too cute not to share! – Jessica B., Returns


sara-florin

My horse, Diem, is rehabbing from an injury this season. I spent all day Sunday volunteering at my barn’s first two-phase of the season, and I got to spend some quality time with my horse hand walking, cold hosing, grooming and feeding him plenty of treats. – Sara F., Creative


Renee-Portnoy

Sunday I had a group lesson with some of the other awesome adults at my barn. We have a lot of laughs together, a great camaraderie and a healthy competitive spirit. Group lessons are great to cheer each other on but also good practice to step it up when it’s your turn (kind of like entering the show ring). My trainer is great at teaching group lessons and I find that you can really learn a lot from watching other horses and riders. One exercise was really helpful to watch: Four cavaletti are set up on a circle, all equal distance apart. We were instructed to ride 6 strides of equal length in between each cavaletti. When we reached the 4th cavaletti we rode 5 forward strides on the straight line. This exercise teaches you to ride your track, keep your horse between your aids and to expand and collapse his stride. Knowing if your horse has a left drift, or always bulges towards the barn or has a monster sized stride enables you to correctly ride the exercise. Because the cavaletti’s come up “quickly” you need to be able to correct any problems before they compound. For the rider this exercise teaches you to be looking up and forward towards your next fence. – Renee P., Purchasing


Kaitlyn-Zaleski

This weekend, I headed over to Valinor Farm to watch my horse Rex and Hannah (who leases him) compete in their first show together, which was also Rex’s first show ever! Hannah rode two tests and scored a 59 and a 61. Considering she has only been leasing him for a few months, I was more than thrilled with how well she did and can’t wait to see them continue to progress this summer! – Kaitlyn Z, Marketing


Paige-Zielinski

Last weekend I went down to Southport, NC to visit my boyfriend for a very quick two days (but, well worth it)! He took a new job down there in January and this was the first time I was able to go down and see the area. Southport is a beautiful small town and I really enjoyed the ocean, seafood, and seeing the different locations that the movie “Safe Haven” was filmed at. We also toured the U.S.S. North Carolina Battleship Memorial which was interesting as I had never been on a battleship before. I can’t wait to get back down to North Carolina again soon! – Paige Z., Customer Care


Marisa-Ciccarello

Bug’s mane got a make-over! After the long winter, she was looking like Cousin It! – Marisa C., Customer Care


This weekend I spent most of the day Saturday getting my mare Luna ready for the upcoming show season. Hard to believe our first outing is in just two weeks! As I surveyed her wild mane and long whiskers, I realized I had quite a bit of work ahead of me! After enjoying a great ride together, I got her clipped, mane pulled, and mostly shedded out. On Sunday I spent some time preparing for my other big event of the spring- my second half-marathon. With only 6 weeks to go, it’s getting to be crunch time! Luckily the weather is starting to get warmer which makes for much more pleasant long runs. – Kerri V., Marketing


emily-diggins

Most of my weekend was devoted to my other passion besides horses—local music! Friday and Saturday were spent in Boston, watching local rock bands perform and filming music videos. You know, the usual. That left Sunday as my designated Horse Day. Ax was very happy to kick up her heels in the field, and I was happy to get a respite from tinnitus. – Emily D., Accounting


sara-ross

With my horse once again out of commission due to soundness issues, I am lucky that my sister (and fellow SmartPaker), Jess, lives just down the road with her beautiful barn and 3 horses in the backyard. I recently purchased a new pair of Piper Breeches in the gorgeous Merlot color hoping that new riding pants would encourage Charlie’s mystery lameness to resolve (if only we could be so lucky!). After tending to him Sunday morning, I met up with my sister and cousin, Meg, for a much needed ride! I snagged the newest addition to the herd, Sienna, an adorable little bay mare. We had an awesome ride together and I even popped Sienna over a few jumps, my favorite! I love love love my new breeches which have to be the comfiest pair I’ve ridden in for quite some time, especially for jumping. Best of all, Sienna’s last few winter hairs just brushed right off of them. It finally feels like Spring is just about here and hopefully more riding time is on its way :) – Sara R., Customer Care


Amanda-baker

I just finished up a two week road trip which included stops in Florida, Georgia, and Virginia. It was a blast all-around but the highlight of the whole thing was definitely the last 5 days which we spent in Virginia. My horse has been down in Virginia training with a friend for the past two years. He’s recently started eventing at Novice level and I couldn’t be prouder of him. While I was down there I decided to do a dressage show – our first ever! I’ve never been big into showing but I figured a couple dressage tests couldn’t hurt. Long story short, our tests went terribly (I guess I deserved that since we had so little practice before hand!) but I ended up having a blast. It was a beautiful 70 degree day at Morningside Training Farm in The Plains, Virginia so there are definitely way worse days to spend a spring day. While my pony is definitely a silly goose, it was so nice to spend some time with him and my friend. To top it all off I walked in this morning with a wee bit of post-vacation blues to the most adorable sign ever from my teammates here. – Amanda B., Retail Store


Whitney-Fernandes

This weekend was great! The New England weather is finally cooperating for us, so most of my weekend was spent outside. My weekend got off to an early start on Friday with a saddle fitter coming to check out my new horse. Luckily no new saddle needed (you can imagine my how happy this made my husband) and it was really neat to see a professional saddle fitter in action. Saturday and Sunday were mostly spent at the barn hanging with my horse, as I said he is still very new to me so it is our “honeymoon” period where we getting to know one another… I may be bribing him with treats :). As always I enjoyed some time with my two dogs, Abby and Zoe. I also spent some quality time with my family which is always wonderful, we played an epic game of crazy eights that lasted almost an hour (my husband, Justin was the proud victor). So all in all it was a great weekend in great company. – Whitney F., Customer Care


Leslee-McClellan

I spent the weekend driving to Maryland to pick up my new puppy Gemma : ) Gemma is a 10 week old English Toy Spaniel. A friend of mine runs Ali Oop Rescue in Cumberland MD and specializes in rescuing small dogs with squishy faces(English Toy Spaniels, French Bulldogs, and Boston Terriers), but she also dabbles a bit in the world of show English Toy Spaniels.

So, Gemma is not a rescue -she will actually be competing in Confirmation when she gets a little older. But for now she is just a crazy puppy! : ) – Leslee M., Customer Care


Elizabeth-Robinson

I took the Amtrak Acela train down to DC this weekend for a whirlwind visit with family and grad school friends. Highlights included seeing the Pre Raphaelite exhibit at the National Gallery of Art, getting some close-ups of the cherry blossoms (yay Spring!) and hanging out with my friend’s two year old (we read LOTS of horse-themed picture books). – Elizabeth R., Customer Care


Martha-Bennett

I had a great weekend! Saturday was spent at the barn getting in some much needed grooming time with Hale. By the end of the day I looked like a wooly mammoth but he was sleek and shiny. It’s so nice to see his dapples starting to show up after a long winter! Sunday I relaxed at home and spent some quality snuggle time on the couch with my two dogs, Lad and Sophie! – Martha B., Customer Care


jno

Last week my trainer and I started my brand new youngster, Sawyer, under saddle! Although I plan to use him primarily for dressage, we’re starting him in a Western saddle. And I have to say, he looks pretty darn good in it… Can’t wait until his shaggy coat is gone! (He’s only been on the elbow-grease-and-omega-3s program for a couple of weeks, so stay tuned for some shinier pictures coming soon). This weekend we did a lot of groundwork with him wearing the saddle, and he was absolutely awesome, a true ambassador to his Lippitt Morgan bloodlines. My favorite pic is the one of him looking like a tough ranch horse in the middle of our dressage arena. :) – Jessica N., Marketing


Casey-Fleming

My weekend was chock full of horse and dog fun. Recently my horse Newt and I have been focusing on the Game of Contact principles to really encourage understanding of the bit and quality stretching. He’s really starting to understand what I’m asking for, which is very exciting! He’s a lot of fun to teach something new to, and is constantly making me laugh. We finished off a great ride on Sunday with a trail ride around the farm with our pals. I also took my dog Rue on a hike, and she had a blast running around and jumping over logs. Action shots included! – Casey F., Marketing


Susan-Tuller

Excel and I were ready for an early spring lesson in the outdoor, and practically everything we wore was purchased at SmartPak (full list below)! We flatted outside, jumped inside and Excel was a good boy throughout. It was a fabulous day! – Susan T., Barn Sales

On Excel:
KL Select Italian Bell Boots
Eskadron Neoprene Front Boots
Lettia Coolmax Fleece Girth
Lettia Coolmax Saddle Pad - embroidered with Excel’s name by our fabulous personalization team at SmartPak
Matrix Ergonomic Half Pad – A/P

On Susan:
Sox Trot Socks (blue polka dot) - can’t seem ‘em but promise they’re there
Tailored Sportsmen Trophy Hunter Knee Patch Breeches - Black
Sunshield Shirt - Royal Blue (can see a hint at the collar)
Gersemi Elissa Quilted Jacket – Grey
Ariat insulated gloves (from a few seasons ago)
One Knot Hairnet - dark brown (lunch lady version)
Charles Owen AYR8 Helmet - Black/Silver
Disc rowel spurs


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2 comments on “Keeping up with the SmartPakers: Weekend Update – April 15, 2013
  1. SueAnn Sheridan says:

    Hi all,

    I was checking out some items online & decided to look at your blogs. I was moved to find that several of you & dog participated in the MS walk. As someone who has this horrible disease…THANK YOU!

    I’ve been raising, breeding, & showing since I was 18 mos old. Well my first time in the ring at 18 mos, I was a little older when I helped dad in the breeding barn & training!Ha!

    I suffered a brain tumor about 10 years ago & spent the next 3 yrs learning to walk, talk, & ride again. Just when things were looking up I was diagnosed with MS. I’m still riding but it’s difficult. My goal is to get back in the ring even if it’s just on the flat or pleasure driving. I can’t imagine my life without horses.

    I feel like everyone at SmartPak are my friends. I’ve called many times with questions and everyone has been so kind and helpful. You guys are great. When I saw that you walked in an MS walk I almost cried. Thank you for ALL you do.

    Fondly,
    SueAnn Sheridan, Stormy, & Derby

    • SmartPak SmartPak says:

      SueAnn, Stormy and Derby – what can we say? We are simply blown away by your kind words. I’m personally thrilled beyond words that horses are able to remain an important part of your life, and all of us SmartPakers are so humbled that we’re able to play a small role in helping you take great care of your horses. Thank you for sharing your story and inspiring us to keep working hard to be more awesome every day. Riders like you deserve nothing less. – SmartPaker Sarah

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