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Peek in Our Tack Trunk – Melissa and Drago


As you can imagine, working at SmartPak for 10 years has resulted in quite the collection of things. I don’t have one trunk,—I have three, and they’re all full of goodies, some of which I use all the time and some of which are collecting dust. What are those things that Drago and I absolutely can’t live without?

SmartPak Lavender Utility Balm

(50 reviews)

Everyone in the barn says that Drago smells like he has had a day at the spa when I finish with him. This is one of our little “spa” secrets. I use this magical stuff on everything. Drago is Mr. Sensitivity and gets all kinds of rubs—spur rubs, blanket rugs, bridle rubs. I use this on his rubs and have also used it on tick bites.

Flavored Bit Wipes

(149 reviews)

I use these every single time I ride to clean my bit when I’m finished. I also cheat a little in the colder winter months and use it to wipe down my tack rather than dealing with cold water.

Tea Tree Hoof Oil

(15 reviews)

Another spa day secret. I use this liberally after I ride before I put Drago to bed for the night.

This ships free!
Mattes Half Pad- All Purpose

(18 reviews)

I’ve ridden with Mattes pads for about 10 years now. An ounce of prevention right? Neither Drago nor my previous horses had any back issues, but I like to provide extra protection where I can. I use this pad with baby pads or other square schooling pads and feel like I’m making Drago’s job just a little more comfortable.

Effax Speedy Leather Shine

 $7.95 - $15.95

Sale Price: From $5.96

(29 reviews)

If you horse show but do not own this amazing little boot shiner, you’re missing out. This thing is an absolute game changer. It cuts polish time in half (at least) and works as a good shine up between full on polishes. My boots have never looked so good despite the fact that I’m spending way less time cleaning and polishing them.

Effax Boot Polish


Sale Price: $8.21

(30 reviews)

The older I get, the more I appreciate ease of use and convenience. This polish works great, and more importantly it’ss in a really easy-to-use squeeze tube with a built in applicator. Twist off the top and apply. Doesn’t get easier than that.

SmartPak Fleece Girth

(375 reviews)

I use this every single time I school or lesson—so that means it gets a lot of action. I’ve also used it at local shows on days when the weather wasn’t great and I wanted to preserve the life of my leather girth. This girth lasts forever and is easy to clean (machine wash and dry). The elastic holds up well unlike many similar girths where the elastic essentially unravels after time. Can’t go wrong with having one of these in your trunk.

Cowboy Magic Detangler & Shine

 $25.95 - $155.70
(172 reviews)

Another spa day secret. It’s a lovely smelling detangler that isn’t gooey and doesn’t make his tail overly slippery. Drago likes to break dance in his stall at night, so his tail is always full of shavings. Because I use Cowboy Magic after each time after I ride, the shaving comb out easily.

Vetrolin Liniment Gel

(30 reviews)

After a hard lesson or horse show, this is my go to for soothing tired muscles.

EquiFit Gel Bands

(71 reviews)

I’m not exactly sure how I ever survived without these gel bands. Wait, I remember: blisters, moleskin, more blisters, more moleskin—bad things. When I’m breaking in a new pair of tall boots, these gel bands are an absolute necessity. I even wear them under well broken in boots if I know it is going to be a long day with a lot of walking.
Melissa Hamlet

Melissa as a rider: I grew up in Virginia and started riding when I was about 7. I never looked back...riding and horses have been a part of who I am since that first ride all of those years ago. I’ve fox hunted a little but have spent most of my time competing in Hunters and Equitation. I rode on the IHSA Team in college and even competed in some IHSA Alumni classes after graduation. These days you’ll find me in the Adult Hunters, Hunter Derbies and Adult Equitation. Melissa as a SmartPaker: As VP of Merchandising, it is my job to oversee all of our product selection and development. Me and my team travel the world to find and develop things we think are worthy of being in your barns, on your bodies and on your horses. How cool is that?!

Posted in In the Tack with the Pak

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3 comments on “Peek in Our Tack Trunk – Melissa and Drago
  1. Emily K says:

    Love the bit wipes! Great “off the cuff” products that I wouldn’t have thought to try!

  2. Wendy says:

    Speaking of “Spa Treatment,” I have been using my SmartWorks Lavender Utility Balm as part of my grooming and pre-ride ritual on my full of energy, TB mares! I had been researching the use of essential oils which have calling effects. Lavender is high on the list! So far, my girls love a little rubbed around their nostrils, and despite the spring weather we are enjoying, I find both to have better focus and are less spooky throughout our rides!

  3. SmartPaker Melissa SmartPaker Melissa says:

    Hi Emily and Wendy –

    Thank you for reading our blog! I hope you found it helpful. Sometimes it’s the little things that make the biggest difference in the barn:-)

    Happy Riding!

    Melissa & Drago

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