Keeping up with the SmartPakers: February 2014

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 month and see if any of our adventures sound similar to yours…


lydiaG

I’m a firm believer in cross-training for both horse and human, so when a local hunter/jumper barn where a friend of mine boards offered a groupon lesson deal, I “jumped” at the chance (pun intended). I’d ridden over fences years ago–and even competed intercollegiately–but it’s been a long time since I’ve had a formal lesson and I felt if I was going to give Newman a fair shake, I needed some professional input. Fortunately the trainer (and his lovely lesson horse) is very patient with this long-time dressage rider, helping me find the forward balance necessary over fences to allow the horse to do his job. Could there be a competition in the future? – Dr. Lydia Gray, Staff Veterinarian


amandabNYC

This past week Retail Store Manager Jen, IT Manager Juan, and I all attended Retail’s Big Show 2014 in New York City. I don’t really know how to describe it other than as an enormous building full of the coolest innovations in retail and packed with people from all over the world (about 30,000 of them!). It was really an amazing experience and we found it immensely helpful in gathering some great ideas for the future of the store. While we were there, we couldn’t help but play the tourist card and do a little sightseeing. I was lucky enough to have a good friend meet up with us and give us a tour around Times Square and Rockefeller center. Times Square at night is something that everyone must experience at least once in their life! – Amanda B., Retail Store


saraF

While my horse is recovering from kissing spine surgery (and busy looking adorable in a plaid blanket), I got to spend some quality time with dozens of horse models on our Spring photo shoots in Florida and California. – Sara F., Creative


January was a whirlwind of activity here at SmartPak! Some of the highlights include launching the 2014 Horse Health Challenge and shooting a silly new video for our awesome new Refer a Friend program.

And the fun doesn’t stop there! We are going to be BUSY working hard to make life better than ever for you and your horses in 2014 – check out some of our predictions:
)
– Sarah P., Marketing


photo
This is what we do in January in Ohio, at least in the snowbelt. We stare outside and decide how badly we really need to go out there… Here are my 3 little ones outfitted in their SmartPink coats with their big polar bear brother to keep watch over them, preparing to go out and get some fresh air :) – Rebecca R., Merchandising


beckiG
My favorite moment in January was getting our new puppy Callie “the Cattle Dog.” Callie is a sweet little 9 week old Australian Cattle Dog, who’s favorite past times are eating, napping, playing with her Kong and chewing her Nylabones. :-) – Rebecca G., Marketing


Certified Good Dog
January was a very exciting month for me and my dog Amos the greyhound. Last October Amos and I started a specialized training class to help prepare us to take not one, but two certification tests 1.) The American Kennel Club Canine Good Citizen® Test and; 2.) The Therapy Dogs International® Test. Going into the 8 week training course I had no idea what to expect from my good friend Amos. He had the inclination to sit for a cookie, but that was the extent of his obedience repertoire. So every Saturday we would head to class and meet our trainer Kris at the Dog Paddle in Bourne, MA to practice “sit”, “down”, and “stay.” As well as learn commands such as “leave it” and expose him to new things such as wheel chairs and walkers. Amos grew and expanded his skills every week and I couldn’t have been happier with his training. The classes not only helped to build his confidence, but my own as well.

On January 12th Amos and I headed to the training facility to take his final exams (butterflies included). An official evaluator was on-site to critique and evaluate Amos’ behavior, temperament and obedience. The test consisted of trials such as, accepting a friendly stranger, sitting politely for petting, walking through a crowd, sit and down on command and staying in place, coming when called, reaction to another dog, reaction to a distraction, supervised separation and more! I’m thrilled to say that Amos passed with flying colors, and once his official paperwork goes through we will be volunteering our time together visiting patients and residents at local nursing homes and hospitals. With Amos’ sweet disposition and eagerness to be loved I’m hoping that we can help to brighten a few days. -Holly A., Creative

amos
Amos after the big test, way to go buddy!
amosribbon
Blue ribbon Amos received for being a Canine Good Citizen

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Jen and Tally
Apparently I've been obsessed with horses since I was born, and I used to beg for pony rides on a regular basis. I started showing in 4-H, progressed to equitation and jumpers in high school and rode on the IHSA team in college where I also discovered the joys...

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