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…
Last weekend: Rick Chicks unite! My husband and I went to the Naperville Rib Fest with two of his friends from work to see Rick Springfield. Yes, THAT Rick Springfield, famous for his grammy-winning #1 hit “Jessie’s Girl” as well as portraying Dr. Noah Drake on TV’s General Hospital. In addition to lots of hits from his 80s movie “Hard to Hold,” we rocked out to covers of “Jet” from Paul McCartney and Wings plus “Crossroads” from Eric Clapton. At 63, Rick Springfield is still a heart-throb!
This weekend: The Hickory Knoll CDE (combined driving event) was held this past weekend near Madison, WI, and I navigated for Dr. Jennifer Thompson, who drives a 17.1 hand Hanoverian mare named “Hannah.” Saturday they were in third place after dressage, falling to fourth after a few balls down on cones. Sunday was the spectator-friendly Marathon Day, where we finished slightly over the Time Allowed on Section A (think Roads & Tracks), within the Time Allowed on the walk section (Section D) then within the optimum window for everyone’s favorite Section E, which had five hazards or obstacles. This moved us back up to third place but unfortunately a greedy fencepost snagged Jennifer’s whip from her hand a few feet from the finish line and she incurred 20 penalty points for not having a whip in her hand as she ended, dropping her into eighth place. Given the number of competitors who either don’t finish or are eliminated, this is still a great placing for Jennifer and her mare, both first-time competitors in a CDE! – Dr. Lydia Gray, SmartPak Staff Veterinarian
On Saturday I finally got to start riding again after way too much time off. I did an amazing trail ride through the woods with a great little horse named Grace (she finally got some snack time here after trying to eat every tree we rode past). Even though my legs are really sore, I’m so excited to be getting back in the saddle! – Lyn H., Customer Care
This past Sunday was finally a break from the intense heat we’ve been having in New England. I spent the day riding, cleaning tack and riding my pony. – Katie T., Finanace
My dog Piper and I spent last week babysitting my parents’ two Cocker Spaniels, Bella and Samantha. Piper wasn’t thrilled with the extra company but she did enjoy all the extra time spent at the beach and the local pond trying to wear the puppy out! At six months old, Bella is quite the handful, but her newfound love of swimming certainly helped to expel some of her excess puppy energy. We had a lot of fun, though Piper is quite happy being the only child once again. – Megan O., Customer Care
Saturday I got to spend time with family that I hadn’t seen in awhile as they’ve traveled off to different states. My cousins who now live in Iowa and Maine, and my uncle who lives in New Hampshire, all came down to my grandparents this weekend for a cookout. We all grew up together so having everyone back in one state felt like old times. On Sunday I headed over to a horse show to cheer on some fellow riders from my barn (go, Satucket Hill!) and then rounded out the evening with a Gladiators football game, complete with gorgeous sunset. – Michelle M., Customer Care
I visited family in Wisconsin and Minnesota on the Mississippi River, which is a bit like going into a time warp. It’s a lot of tiny industrial and farm towns flanked by corn and soybean fields and divided by an unbelievable river. While most people think miles and miles of cornfields are boring, I actually love watching the perfect rows flying by when you’re driving on the highway. What can I say? I think I’m just a Midwestern girl at heart. – Sara F., Creative
After I got my horse, Eden, prepped for next week at Saugerties on Saturday morning, I headed home to CT to visit my family. I managed to snap a few quick shots while I was home and, to me, they are picture perfect! My mom’s hydrangeas are in FULL BLOOM on our back patio and the color this year is magnificent. As I was photographing these purple beauties, my dog ran down the steps only to find the gate closed. She is quite possibly the cutest thing ever and I tagged it on instagram as “Maddie behind bars”. Later that night, my kitten, Basil, and Maddie snuggled up with me. After what my family and I thought was going to be a disaster, they ended up loving each other! They are the newest version of Milo & Otis and a match made in heaven!! – Mollie B., Creative
I was actually on vacation last week. I spent the first part of the week at Sebago Lake in Maine with my boyfriend and his family. My dog Morgan especially enjoyed the trip—she is half lab and loves to swim. After Sebago, we came home for a couple days and I got to spend lots of quality time with my horse Ax. The photo is of her reaction to a birthday balloon that blew into her paddock. I ended my vacation by spending the weekend in Provincetown, MA, where we enjoyed some beautiful beach weather. – Emily D., Accounting
I can describe my weekend in two words: Ah Mazing. Friday night and Saturday morning I got to house-sit for SmartPaker Sara’s wonderful pit bull, True. This included a lot of swimming in Sara’s awesome new pool, and a lot of snuggling on the couch watching Kitchen Nightmares.
Saturday morning, my boyfriend and I drove up to Conway, NH to visit his brother, sister-in-law, and nephews at their rental cabin. I’ve never been to NH before, but it’s one of my new favorite places! We toured downtown Conway with the boys, went zip-lining and gondola-riding at Wildcat, and watched the most beautiful sunset I’ve ever seen as we all swam, laughed, and splashed around in a pond in the shadow of Mount Washington. On Sunday morning, we hiked through the woods to Diana’s Baths, a very cool graduated waterfall where you can walk around on the rocks and in the water. That was followed by a lunch that included the most amazing vegan Thai Peanut Chili – seriously, it was indescribably good. Our car ride home was full of overtired giggles, and we were blissfully exhausted when we collapsed at home last night. Can’t wait to do it again!! – Sarah P., Marketing
I found the most ridiculous zucchini in my garden this weekend- it’s huge. The part I can’t wrap my head around is that I’ve harvested zucchini from this plant at least 2 other times and somehow missed this behemoth. Here is a small selection of pictures, however my sister and I pretty much made a whole album taking silly pictures with it. The best part though, was baking and eating it. Yum! I also spent some quality time cuddling my dog, Rue on the couch. – Casey F., Marketing
This past weekend was filled with taking advantage of the beautiful weather we had along the coast here in Mass. I had family in town, which included my two nephews who are 3 & 2, so it was non-stop entertaining. We went to the beach, hit up some local ice cream shops (you can never have too much!), built a mega tower out of blocks, and even went to a party at a friend’s house. My oldest nephew, who doesn’t usually nap, was so tired that he passed out on our dog’s bed for 3 hours, proof we all had a blast. – Kate M., Marketing
I spent most of my weekend staying out of the heat, but when the humidity broke on Sunday, my dog Lola and I made a beeline for the barn! Despite sitting in some construction-related traffic, we had a smooth ride up to Groton to see the horses and some new arrivals—BABY CHICKS! One little fluffball hatched on Saturday, and s/he needed some friends, so a few more joined the bunch thanks to the local Agway. I had an excellent ride on Galli, who just turned 28 recently; she looks amazing and felt SO good. She gave me some really quality work, and I think this season will be her best yet. After riding, the horses got a bath, and Milo took full advantage and had a really good roll. I wish I could roll around in the dirt, too! – Kristin P., Creative
It didn’t take just one weekend but I did finish it on the long weekend. New addition to our tree house. You can’t zip line off of it (yet) but you can walk on it to get to the zip line. – Dodd C., Operations