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Keeping Up With The SmartPakers: September 3rd 2013

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…

I moved Newman up from Training to Prelim at the Indian Hills Driving Trial last weekend. We competed in the Combined Test, which is just dressage and cones, skipping the marathon since I haven’t had time to get him fit for 5km. He scored moderately well, but really improved during our lesson the next day with judge Muffy Seaton! She changed bits, drove him first, then handed me a horse that she said was capable of going Advanced! There were 40 turnouts at this show, the only ADS-recognized competition in Illinois, and my favorite was the four-in-hand of two Morgan leaders and two Morgan/Percheron wheelers! – Dr. Lydia G., Staff Veterinarian

Watch a video of the zip line!
It was a project weekend at our house! We have a party coming up in September, so it was time to get some outdoor spaces ready for fun. Day one was all work with the deck staining, but day two ended with some serious play after installing the zip line across our backyard and designing and building the platform. It’s a 4th birthday present for our little guy, and he spent a couple of hours taking turn zipping with his big sister. I have to admit, it’s pretty fun, as I took a few turns myself! – Kristen I., Operations

For our long weekend my husband and I went to Saratoga to watch the last weekend of racing. We got to meet Rosie Napravnik who was the jokey for our friend’s horse Kingofthebluegrass (he came in 2nd!). We also got to go up to the press section which has access to the roof which overlooks the track – best view in the house! What a neat experience! To cap off the weekend we went to the Zac Brown concert which was a blast. They put on a great concert and (if you can believe it…. ) Zac Brown sounds even better in person. Yesterday I went to the barn, had a lesson, rode 3 horses and practiced with no stirrups – it’s almost finals time! – Renee P., Merchandising

I had a FUN FUN weekend with my adorable nephew, Mitchell. He has outgrown the lesson ponies at my barn now at the ripe ole age of 12, so he took his first lesson on my horse Excel. I’m happy to report though it wasn’t a good day for cantering, it was a GREAT day for trot poles and lots of smiling. How bout that position?!? We then stopped at Drumlin Farm in Lincoln MA to check out the pigs, cows and goats who were playing King of the Mountain when we were there! Missing him already <3 - Susan T., Barn Marketing


Probably the highlight of my long weekend was getting my first score in the 80s at a 3-foot finals. Granted it was in the Classic warm-up class and not in the RI finals course (I totally choked under the pressure), but I was still pretty proud of that score. My horse, Dia, was fantastic – I couldn’t ask for a better partner.

I also signed up for a 3-day George Morris clinic in November (GULP!). – Jess R., IT

Last week I went to Bora Bora and stayed in these huts over the water. My Lumia 928 PureView camera with Carl Zeiss® optics and Optical Image Stabilization took this panoramic picture that makes it look like the huts are facing one another, they are in fact all in a straight line. – Matt S., IT


I decided to take my long weekend and make it a little longer, so I took a few days off and went to LONDON! I did a study abroad there three years ago, so I went back to go visit my favorite old places along with a few new ones—including The Making of Harry Potter WB Studio Tour! It was absolutely magical (pun intended) as I got to see so many of the actual sets and costumes used throughout the 8 Harry Potter movies. I also made a stop at Platform 9 3/4 at Kings Cross Station, and I saw Danielle Radcliffe live in a play called The Cripple of Inishmaan! It was a very Harry week. I did have several other non-Harry Potter related adventures, including a ride on the London Eye, a trip to Windsor Castle, delicious food from Camden and Borough markets (there’s a picture with me and the delicious arepa I had Camden on Saturday), picnics in Kensington Park, visits to the National Gallery, Tate Modern, British Museum, British Library, and so much more! – Lindsey B., Creative

I had a weekend full of obligatory family functions to attend with my boyfriend, including a cookout at my aunt’s house in Plymouth, which as you can see offered some lovely scenery. Fortunately, I was able to spend some time with my horse yesterday. I snapped this picture while I was hand-grazing her. As you might be able to tell from the photo, her winter coat is already starting to grow in! – Emily D., Accounting

Last weekend Jen and I went to the wedding of two SmartPak alumni, Morgan and Michael. It was hands-down one of the coolest weddings I’ve ever been to since they got married in front of the beluga whale tank at the Mystic Aquarium! It was a beautiful ceremony and it was so much fun to see former SmartPakers in love. One of the belugas seriously sat and watched the entire ceremony from beginning to end. It was pretty surreal to see this big white whale watching the entire proceedings. Of course Jen and I had to pose in front of the whale tank ourselves at the end. Congrats Morgan and Mikey! – Amanda B., Retail Store

Attended a fantastic wedding for two SmartPak Store alumni who got married at the Mystic Aquarium. Beautiful location and great fun all around – congrats Michael and Morgan! Managed to get myself out of bed the next morning to coach and ride at a local dressage schooling show, then took my dog for a hike with a friend. – Jen B., Retail Store

Posted in Stories & Adventures

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2 comments on “Keeping Up With The SmartPakers: September 3rd 2013
  1. B Harrison says:

    Struggling to keep our horses out of standing water, N Fort Myers, Fl declared an emergency.

  2. Kristen B says:

    Hey Emily—My mare is getting fuzzy too! Even though we still are having highs in the mid 90’s, it is dark by 830 in the evening.

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