For my 25th birthday, I got to spend a few days out in sunny Sacramento with five of my amazing coworkers and a whole wealth of west coast horse lovers at the Western States Horse Expo. So many visitors came by to tell us how excited they were to see us there and shared stories about why they love SmartPak and how our supplements have helped their horses. This is my first time attending an event in California for SmartPak, so I actually learned a lot from our customers, too, about common issues going on in the Sacramento area, like the drought and sand colic. I also never thought I’d see a Jersey cow being ridden, let alone at an equine event, but sure enough the Western States Horse Expo did not disappoint! As an avid dairy cow lover, I got the biggest kick out of this. Although we were “working”, I can think of a million worse ways to spend a birthday!
This past month I got to attend one of the Walkabout Tours in NY with SmartPakers Kelcie, Jamie and Kaitlyn. Despite the fact that the first day we arrived was Friday the 13th and a full moon, we did not let that affect our passion to help our riders! We met lots of our awesome customers face to face and talked all about their horses. This particular tour was closer to home for us, so travelling back and forth was a breeze. We got to eat some great food and watch some cool demonstrations, which is always a blast. The horses that travelled with the tour were gorgeous Quarter Horses (which is what my horse is so I am a little partial), and the little Mini (Phoenix) was just so plump and adorable! I thought it was a riot that they would put a saddle on him and fill it with program agendas and have him walk around handing them out. I am looking forward to my next SmartPak adventure!
For a first time trade show traveler, June was certainly a busy month for me! I started my experience by putting on my cowgirl boots and attending the Downunder Horsemanship Walkabout Tour in Albany, NY. I had seen Clinton Anderson before at Equine Affaire (ages ago!) so I was excited to see how The Method had developed since then. Then, not even a week later, I was boarding a plane to Charleston, SC where I attended the American Horse Publication’s Gallop N’ Grits seminar in Charleston, SC. Upon arrival, seminar attendees were greeted with a carriage tour of the area, guided by two adorable mules! I attended this tour with fellow SmartPaker Emily – when we arrived to the venue we set up a table with a few products and samples – of everything on the table, Piper Breeches were the hot topic of conversation! The big reason we were there was to represent SmartPak at the annual awards presentation, which SmartPak brought home a 1st place prize among many other accomplishments!
June was a busy month for the Marketing and Merchandising teams as we got to work putting together our fall catalogs. In early June we were lucky enough to be welcomed by Troy Green Quarter Horses for two full days of photo shoot fun. Mother nature was very good to us as temperatures weren’t too oppressive – very important when you’re dressing horse and human models in the latest fashions for fall and winter! Trainer Torey Roderick was wonderfully patient and helpful, as horse handler and model and we were also joined by the sweetest Blue Heeler named Yogi, who became fast friends with our VP of Western, Becki (she has a Heeler puppy and knows how to speak their language). The days were filled with laughs, funny tactics to get ears forward (FYI, there is an app with different animal sounds that works great), lots of Yankee ingenuity, and great photo’s. We can’t thank Troy Green, Torey Roderick and their entire team enough, for allowing us to set up shop at their farm and use their beautiful horses.
The Merchandising and Creative teams spent a few days at Grazing Fields Farm for our fall catalog photo-shoot. We had sunny weather for the most part which allowed for great photos of both horses and models. Everyone had a job to do and mine was to get the horses ready. I spent each day grooming and tacking up horses to get them prepared for their close ups. It was a successful week and we can’t wait for everyone to see the photos in our catalog this September!
In the middle of June I had the opportunity to travel to sunny California to attend Western States Horse Expo in Sacramento. I headed west with Paige and Jessica, Becki, Lissa and Emily met us out there (be jealous, it was a really fun group). It was so much fun to get to meet some of our west coast customers and get to know them and their horses a bit better, being stationed right outside of a clinic arena was super cool too. There were so many neat horses and a diverse group of disciplines that attended the show, we met everything from minis to draft horses. My favorite “horse” we met Paulianna who was accessorized with sunglasses and twinkle-toed! Also the excitement didn’t stop because I wasn’t home, my dog Abby delivered 8 beautiful puppies, Paige and I got to see the last puppy being born via video chat (isn’t technology wonderful?!).
We had a fabulous time yet again at our latest Walkabout Tour! As always, it was a delight to meet so many of our wonderful customers in person, as well as many new ones! This time we were in Minnesota, and what a great time of year to visit! It was finally warming up after a very long and tough winter. I can’t really complain anymore about the weather here in Massachusetts when they were taking care of their horses in 60 below! My favorite part of Clinton’s events is watching the ball toss, where all the kids get to participate. They have an absolute blast! I also loved getting to see Phoenix again, there’s nothing like being greeted by an adorable mini every morning!
This past month, I attended Clinton Anderson’s Walkabout Tour in Albany, NY with a few of my fellow SmartPakers—Kaitlyn, Kelcie and Kristina. It was an awesome experience to be able to meet so many of our customers face-to-face, while also forming relationships with newer faces and fans of Clinton’s. One of our customers named Grace, who also attended the Scottsdale Arabian Show back in February, made an appearance. This was a very cool experience because she had actually worked closely with another team member of ours (Paige) and it was as though we were all one, big circle of friends coming from all over. Better yet, I actually met a very nice lady who was from Vermont and ironically used a very close friend of mine as her children’s pediatrician when they were growing up—he has since passed but we made a one-of-a-kind connection and smiled as we reflected back on his life; what a small world! All in all, we had a great time at the Downunder Horsemanship tour stop. Cheers to healthy horses and happy riders!