Blog Archives

Moving up – How I knew we were ready

Tally GMHA training 6.14 post stadium

In every equestrian sport there are various levels of competition, and a goal for many riders is moving up to the next level. In Eventing, we have six levels – Beginner Novice, Novice, Training, Preliminary, Intermediate and Advanced. I went

Posted in Stories & Adventures

Tips for Juggling a Busy Schedule and Horses

luna ribbons

Like many riders, I have to balance barn time with an otherwise full schedule, and it isn’t always easy! Most of us have to manage riding, family, work, and other responsibilities, and it can be challenging to find the time

Posted in SmartPak Features, Stories & Adventures

How I Became a Vet—Part III: The Private Practice Years

Lydia-handwalking-thumb

Be sure to read part 1 and part 2 first! Still Not There Yet Becoming a practicing veterinarian takes a long time and hard work—not to mention a significant financial investment—but graduating with a DVM (or VMD) is just part

Posted in Stories & Adventures

Keep Your Tack Room Organized – Tips from a Seasoned Professional

hollyhill-17

I’ve been in and out of a lot of barns thanks to my 20+ year riding career and my awesome job on the Barn Team at SmartPak. When I met Karla for the first time, I was in awe and

Posted in Stories & Adventures

How I Became a Vet—Part II: The Veterinary School Years

Lydia-Body-Condition-Scoring

Be sure to read part 1 first! Getting into Vet School During the senior undergraduate year–in addition to classes, work, and extracurriculars—students who intend to pursue graduate level studies need to start scoping out their educational institution choices, examining admissions

Posted in Stories & Adventures

Creating a Happy Farm Life

happyFarmLife

Living on a farm certainly has its challenges, and making sure all of the animals are all healthy and well cared for is sometimes a feat on its own. On my farm, I have a menagerie of animals: horses, goats,

Posted in Stories & Adventures

When did my horse get old?

ElizabethSam_SBG

Given that I bought my first horse, Sam, when he was 15, I guess I shouldn’t have been too shocked to find him into his twenties before I knew it. But as a spry, active, and healthy guy, I figured

Posted in Stories & Adventures

Small Victories – Bringing Along A Young Horse

lexiK

When I decided to get a young horse, my trainer told me that bringing her along would be a fun adventure for me. His assistant, who would be working with me all winter while half the barn headed to Florida,

Posted in Stories & Adventures

How I Became a Vet—Part I: The Undergraduate Years

Lydia--gut-sounds-thumb

Introduction Ever know deep down that something was just meant to be? I knew from the time I could walk and talk that I was supposed to be a veterinarian, so everything I did growing up supported that goal. Step

Posted in Stories & Adventures

Getting a horse back in shape for spring

backinshape

Now that the snow and ice have melted, it’s time to think about getting the horses fit for the upcoming show season. Here in New England, we have a tough time maintaining our horses’ fitness year round due to the

Posted in Stories & Adventures

SmartPaker Kristin: What I Wore to Ride in Ireland

kpow_marley_the_irish_cob

Back in January, a friend of mine mentioned to me that round-trip flights to Dublin, Ireland, were incredibly cheap—about $500 from Boston. Ireland has been at the top of my “must travel” list since I’ve held a passport, and to

Posted in Stories & Adventures, Travel

Start Spring Off on the Right Hoof

Emily-D_Final

Riding and horse ownership face a new set of seasonal challenges when the weather starts getting warmer. Rich new grass, shedding, mud, wild manes, and the “spring sillies” are all stumbling blocks to riding in the spring. Fortunately, working at

Posted in Stories & Adventures

New Horse Shopping List

Lindsay-and-Rory_adorable-close-up_trot

It’s been about 7 years since I sold my first horse, Bella, when I went off to college. I’ve waited and waited (often not so patiently), and the time has finally come for me to buy a new horse! But

Posted in Stories & Adventures

It wasn’t perfection, but that’s okay

lexi_superman_bugs

As a longtime hunter rider, it’s been ingrained into my head that everything needs to be perfect. In order to do well, we need to have the perfect pace, the perfect distances, the perfect number of even strides between the jumps of a line. Everything needs to be just right. But when it comes to riding, everything is not going to be perfect every time. In a recent lesson, everything didn’t go “just right,” but in the end, I realized that sometimes it is okay if everything doesn’t go perfectly.

Posted in Stories & Adventures

Spring Shopping List!

angie

Falkner and I are eagerly waiting spring. I know a lot of people are saying that, but normally I love winter and lots of snow. This winter has just been ridiculously cold, and I’m done with it! I find myself

Posted in Stories & Adventures

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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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