Keeping up with the SmartPakers: Weekend Update – April 29, 2013

SusanTuller


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…

michelleM
This weekend started off early at Harvard Stadium in Cambridge, MA. I joined my boyfriend and his co-workers for a workout on the stadium seats and my legs are still reminding me of that this morning – it was tons of fun and a great morning to be out and active. Later that day I finished painting the closet in our bedroom so we can finally move our clothes in properly. Sunday I headed out to Burrage Pond with fellow SmartPaker Elizabeth R. for a trail ride. Maddie was very excited to get out and stretch her legs and we even got to gallop a bit on one of the straight-aways (we don’t have much space to do things like that around here!). I’m excited to head back out there as the nice weather sticks around. Sunday afternoon and evening was spent doing yard work and with family – a great way to wrap up a nice weekend! – Michelle M., Customer Care


katieT
We enjoyed the great spring weather this weekend by doing yard work and grilling out. We also decided to start running and Buck enjoyed is first run! – Katie T., Finance


TierneyH
I attended the Intercollegiate Dressage Association National Championships this weekend and had a blast! The event was held at Mt. Holyoke College in Massachusetts. Being a Johnson and Wales Alumni, I had to show my support for the team. Representing the school was Julie McNellis, Tara Proulx, Melissa Wescott, Grace Pratico, Francesca Edwards, Madison Keys, Jess Mitchell, and Lauren Friedland. Congratulations to all teams who competed, and a very enthusiastic high-five to the JWU team for their Reserve Champion Team win and Coach Crystal Taylor on winning Coach of the Year! – Tierney H., Customer Care


ElizabethRobinson
What a beautiful weekend! We had perfect Spring New England weather – mid 60’s and no bugs. Saturday I helped out at a local Earth Day festival selling raffle tickets (it was very strange to be standing behind a table and not talking about SmartPaks). Sunday morning I was out on the bogs with my 22 year old Arabian Sam, and fellow SmartPaker Michelle with her horse Maddie. The horses loved getting out and wanted little to do with walking in those wide open spaces. Back at the barn, I rode my 15 year old Arabian Razz, then went to my friend’s barn for a dressage lesson on the Pinto I’m leasing, Keebler. Phew! Love three-pony weekends! – Elizabeth R., Customer Care


SaraFlorin
It FINALLY felt like spring this weekend. In the spirit of the warm weather, Diem tried a bite of an orange popsicle, but he much preferred munching on the fresh green grass. – Sara F., Creative


KerriVuolo
This weekend my mare Luna and I attended our first dressage show of the season. As first shows often go, we were a little rusty but had a great time and finished second in one of our classes. My barn manager also brought her 5 year old to show and a few of my other barn mates came along to school and watch. The weather was absolutely perfect, and we got a lot of great feedback to improve on for our next show in just two weeks. – Kerri V., Marketing


KaitlinTeore
This weekend was a lazy weekend! On Saturday fellow SmartPaker Jess and I went to the barn to graze the ponies and have a tack cleaning party. Sunday was just as nice, the weather was gorgeous and after working in the morning I spent it watching the old ’21 Jump Street’ show and then free lunging my thoroughbred Sam. – Kaitlin T., Customer Care


LissaHines
Much of my weekend was spent enjoying the warm weather and sunshine. Friday night I let Maddie stay up past her bedtime so that she could watch our Team SmartPak riders compete at the Kentucky Reining Cup which was being streamed live on the USEF Network. She stared intently as Tim McQuay, Tom McCutcheon, Mandy McCutcheon and many of the sports other great riders rode their patterns (which my non-equestrian husband calls wheelies, donuts and burnouts). Although she can’t talk quite yet, she looked straight into my eyes as to say “Mom, I need a reiner”. I thought the next best thing was a ride on my parent’s dog Laverne, but as you can tell by the look on her face, she wasn’t fooled! Looks like a trip to Texas is in our future. – Lissa H., Marketing


KristinaSmith
This weekend in Massachusetts was the nicest Spring weather anyone could hope for! With that wonderful warmth and sunshine, I headed to the barn to tackle some serious Spring cleaning. After two days of going through everything I own in the barn, my boyfriend and I decided to meet up with some friends and take the 4-wheelers out for the first ride of the year. It was a great way to have some fun and unwind as we rode until it got dark. Of course, without even thinking, I was complete from shoulder to foot in my favorite equestrian brands! Rocking some Wranglers with 3 layers of Ariat tops (longsleeve, hoodie and my favorite WEG jacket) along with my Ariat boots. I think I should have been dealing with some REAL horse power :) -Kristina S., Creative


EmilyDiggins
I went to Maine for the weekend with 10 friends (and 3 dogs!). We stayed at my friend’s new cabin, which is west of Portland. It was a fun and relaxing weekend, complete with campfires and lovely spring weather. – Emily D. Accounting


SusanTuller
In celebrating my horse Excel turning 20 this year, I decided to try to fill the gaps in my horse’s trail in terms of prior owners before he became part of my family almost 14 years ago. I remembered the first time I ever brought him to Tufts Equine Veterinary Hospital for a routine appointment, the receptionist mentioned he had been there before and was previously owned by a woman who lived in Rhode Island. I decided to call the Accounting department at Tufts a few weeks ago, and while mentioning several times that I was not crazy, that I was looking to speak with his prior owner in hope of obtaining photographs of Excel as a youngster. I knew they couldn’t share contact information so I knew full well knowing how busy they are at Tufts, plus the chances of this person having the same phone number 10+ years later or even wanting to speak to me were slim.

Three hours later I received a call from a Trainer I know very well from working with her over the last 3 years at SmartPak. I answered the phone “Hi Diana” and her reply was delivered excitedly “I didn’t know you have Excel!” and it turns out SHE had purchased Excel as a 2-year old and started him under saddle. I was ecstatic! I’ve known Diana for over 3 years and was thrilled to know that Excel was started by such a talented horsewoman and kind, caring person. I caught up with Diana last week and she gave several photos and a special plaque (photos attached). Turns out Excel won Horse of the Year Hunter Breeding Division in 1993 as a yearling and was Reserve as a two-year old in 1994 at the Northwest Sporthorse Breeders Association!

Thank you to Heather at Tufts for taking time out of her busy day to make this call, and a very special thanks to Diana Mukpo of Windhorse Dressage for taking the time to dig through old photos to find this incredibly special memorabilia for me. – Susan T., Barn Marketing


KateMaggi
This past weekend I headed out to the west coast to visit my good friend Melissa who lives in LA. She showed me sites including Rodeo Drive, Hollywood, and Santa Monica. The sunshine was a nice jumpstart to spring and has me looking forward to the weather continuing to warm up here in Boston. The picture below is a quick group shot we took while enjoying one of our days out. – Kate M., Marketing


KristinPowers
Since I live just north of Boston, my past two weekends have been spent paying my respects at the memorials to the Marathon bombings and doing my part to help the local economy get back on its feet. Last Sunday, my sister and I went to the Boylston/Berkley Street memorial; it was a moving experience to say the least. Yesterday, I visited the new memorial in Copley Square, wrote a note to my city, and had dinner at a local restaurant on Boylston Street, where I was gifted a marathon beer glass. Boston is definitely getting back to its usual beat and energy, and for once I was happy to see hordes of tourists exploring everything Boston has to offer—even in the aftermath of a tragedy. Kristin P., Creative


LaraFrisch
This weekend I spent the day with my horse Stormy and also snuggled with the newest addition to the barn. – Lara F., Merchandising


JillDoyle
This weekend Finn and I just enjoyed the view from our backyard! – Jill D., Human Resources


NelsMcLaughlin
This past weekend was a busy one for me. We started on Saturday morning by going to visit one of my wife’s friends who has twins in Springfield, MA, at the Forest Park Zoo. It was a perfect day for an outside activity with three 18-month olds (roughly). Hazel has always loved animals, and it was pointed out to us that all of her favorite animal noises that she can say are accompanied by hand gestures. Who knew! After that, we visited another friend who also has two kids, so to say the least, Saturday was very exhausting for everyone. Sunday proved to be just as fun, as we took Hazel to get her very first pet! She was so excited in the pet store – she couldn’t decide what she wanted to look at more between the puppies, fish, and bunnies. And yes, I know the picture is of her looking at puppies, but sadly, we did not go home with a dog. We got her a blue (her favorite color) betta fish, for which she was uncontrollably excited. She even gave her new pet a goodnight kiss and some friends to keep him company while she was sleeping! – Nels M., Marketing


LydiaGray
My husband Todd and I recently went to a Garbage concert in Chicago. The opening band was IO Echo which I really liked but not sure Todd dug them so much, they were a little too alternative and punk for him. He’s more old school heavy metal (think Megadeth and Black Sabbath). I was thrilled Garbage played my all-time favorite of theirs, #1 Crush! Shirley Manson and the boys sound great live and on their 5th studio album “Not Your Kind of People!” – Dr. Lydia G., Marketing


KristinaSimmons
This weekend my boyfriend, Mac and I took advantage of the gorgeous weather and spent most of it outdoors. On Saturday we broke out our running shoes for the first time this year and ran 2 miles. I haven’t run in so long and boy am I sore now. After that we went out to lunch and walked around downtown Amesbury, MA and visited some local little shops and stopped for some ice cream at the end. Meanwhile, my horse Cocoa was able to graze outside in the sun after being laid up for a while with an injury. She had a blast eating the fresh green grass and basking in the sunshine. – Kristina S., Customer Care


KristenIsaacs
Our family had a very busy weekend, especially for my daughter Rose. Friday night was her very first dance recital, where she danced to “Ooh Child”. I’ve never seen a happier little girl! Then on Saturday, she got to wake up to her birthday party, complete with Ariel cake and a mac ‘n cheese bar. Thankfully, the weather was beautiful, and the kids spent all day running around outside. A great weekend spent with family and friends! – Kristen I., Operations


MeaghanM
I was lucky enough to volunteer at the eighth annual Colorado State University Legends of Ranching Sale. 40 colts had been trained over the year by CSU students in class and this sale was the culminating event. It’s great to see how each horse and rider grew throughout the year and to see the widespread support of the community through sponsors and consigners. – Meaghan M., Retail Store


WhitneyFernandes
My weekend was busy (per usual) but still fun! I worked on Saturday and while I was at work my little star of a show dog won the Portuguese Water Dog class at a dog show in Rhode Island and then went on to get a 4th overall in the Working Group! (She makes me a very proud dog mom)! Sunday I took went for a nice walk on the beach with my other dog Zoe, my breeder’s dog Diva and one of my dearest friends Bonnie and her Collie Brodie. Then I attended a baby shower of a dear friend who is due in June (she got TONS of amazing stuff). I then wrapped up the day with a great ride on my horse Eclipse, I was thrilled to ride with my friend Kristen and her QH Booker! – Whitney F., Customer Care


MarisaCiccarello
Sarah G, Jackie M and I moved into a cool new house…On a cliff…By the ocean! The view is awesome, this is what I saw when I woke up this morning! – Marisa C., Customer Care


JenniferBagley
Busy weekend for me – enjoyed the sunshine and warm temps. Got a shed delivery at my house, amazing how they get it off the trailer! Dressage schooling show on Sunday getting ready for the recognized events later this spring. Great experience for both of us, beautiful day and location at Beland Stables. Tally was terrific and we have great judge’s comments with things to work on for next test. – Jennifer B., Retail Store


DarelLee
As usual, Dusty (adopted through Amazing Grace Equine), helped SmartPaker Derel Lee give riding lessons over the weekend to Breiah Coletti of Middleboro. Breiah thinks that chestnut mares are the best horses in the world and that everyone should consider adopting a rescue horse.- Darel Lee T., Production

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