Blog Archives

A Non-Rider’s Perspective on OutSmart Fly Spray


When I started working at SmartPak back in the summer of 2012, I knew next to nothing about horses, as evidenced by my very first blog appearance, in which I tried to put together a bridle SPOILER ALERT: it didn’t

Posted in Blogs, Stories & Adventures

Ride in Balance, Move in Balance, Live in Balance: A Body Concept Workshop for Equestrians


“Great workshop! Nice to see a workshop focused on the rider and a more holistic approach to riding and training.” “This is exactly what I needed! What a WONDERFUL weekend in every way!” “Fascinating topics, application to equestrian endeavors appropriately

Posted in Stories & Adventures

When I walk outside


When I walk outside, the slate is wiped clean. When I walk outside, I turn to the right and walk toward the back paddock. Letting out a short whistle I peek around the corner and look for my red heads.

Posted in Stories & Adventures

Taking on a project horse

Winston - Project Horse

I manage a small co-op barn at a private farm with four stalls and two other horse owners. Usually we have all four stalls filled, but recently we lost a horse to a bad leg injury. That empty stall has

Posted in Stories & Adventures

Keeping the Retired Show Horse Engaged


Almost three years ago I retired my now almost 18 year old APHA gelding from the show ring after a long career traveling all over the country to attend shows chasing year end points and competing in everything from trail

Posted in Stories & Adventures

To Breathe or Not to Breathe, That Is the Question


You’d think a colic surgery, PSSM and shivers, headshaking, and even a pulled suspensory years ago would be enough problems in one horse. But you’d be wrong. What’s wrong with the silly horse now? I don’t know whether my horse

Posted in Stories & Adventures

Newman’s Notes on Driving


Eating… Grass. Eating… Grass. I’ve watched my mom drive up to the barn, set out a bunch of stuff, and get chased into the other pasture by the thingy with wheels. Now she’s putting brightly colored buckets all over THIS

Posted in Stories & Adventures

2014 Take-aways


What a year! I look forward to learning new things each year, especially in my riding. This year has been one of the best ever, despite losing most of the show season due to a lameness issue. Looking back, I’ve

Posted in Lists, Stories & Adventures

Helping Your Horse Move to a New Barn


Let’s face it- moving is rarely fun! And just like for you, moving can be really stressful on your horse. For those of us that board, and even those that keep their horses at home, moving is likely to be

Posted in Stories & Adventures, Travel

Too Busy to Ride


I was very fortunate to grow up with my horses in my backyard. My parents owned a boarding facility – not only convenient for a horse crazy little girl, it taught me A LOT about riding, barn management and horse

Posted in Stories & Adventures

On the road with the SmartPakers: October 2014


SmartPaker Whitney: In October I was lucky enough to travel to one of the biggest horse events in the US, The All American Quarter Horse Congress with fellow SmartPaker Veronica. I have heard stories about how amazing this event is

Posted in Stories & Adventures

My Mustang’s Makeover


My Mustang’s Makeover – How repeat Mustang Makeover competitor Jessica Dabkowski uses SmartSupplements to help her mustangs perform their best In September, SmartPak was lucky enough to attend our first Extreme Mustang Makeover in Ft. Worth, Texas. While there, we

Posted in Stories & Adventures

Performance to Pleasure – Getting Back to the Basics


Although I was lucky enough to own horses growing up (thanks Mom & Dad!), the reality of life, aka time and money, that came along with college and obtaining a full-time job which includes travel (even one as amazing as

Posted in Stories & Adventures

From boarder to owner


I guess I never realized just how much work it would take to move my horse to my own property, but I recently have had the opportunity to bring my horse home for the first time in my almost 20

Posted in Stories & Adventures

How I Became a Vet Part IV — Getting to SmartPak


Be sure to read part 1, part 2 and part 3! Where We Left Off In the last installment, I had graduated from veterinary school and found a position as an associate veterinarian at a mixed practice. In addition to

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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