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I Don’t Collect Blue Ribbons

Riding at Fairbanks (where I boarded in College)

I don’t collect blue ribbons because I’m not a competitive rider. While I attended a handful of schooling shows in my teens, showing never had an appeal for me. I’ve always been an animal lover and I fell in love

Posted in Stories & Adventures

The Top 5 Things Your SmartPak Customer Care Team Wants You to Know


#1 We’re Riders, Too! We understand your horse-obsessed, dirt-under-the-fingernails, I’ll-be-home-soon-I’m-just-stopping-by-the-barn-quick life. OTTBs? We’ve got ‘em! Warmbloods? We’ve got ‘em! Morgans, Arabs, Quarter Horses, and Chincoteague Ponies? We’ve got ‘em! So there’s no question too big or too small for us

Posted in Lists, Stories & Adventures

Moving Home Again


Who would have thought that I would be moving home again?! Well, I guess I’m not exactly moving home, but Lucy has. I decided it was best to move home for a while to save money for upcoming adventures this

Posted in Stories & Adventures

A Good Yawn Goes a Long Way

pic 5

It’s true, a good yawn really can go a long way! Let me explain: I started showing my last equine partner, Faith Hill, back in 2003 at Intro Level Test A and B at a local dressage schooling show. Back

Posted in Stories & Adventures

Fear, Courage & Redemption


When people ask me what I do with my horses, I typically start with my riding horses. I say something like, “I have two Arabians, one who is semi-retired following a tendon injury, and one that I actively ride and

Posted in Stories & Adventures

4 Ways to Make Winter Riding More Fun


This past weekend marked two sad events: the coldest temperatures we’ve experienced all winter and the departure of some of my fellow boarders’ horses for Florida. There’s nothing sadder than telling your barn mates, “Bye, have fun in Florida!” when

Posted in Blogs, Stories & Adventures

Dressing for Cold Weather: A SmartPaker’s Tips for Staying Warm

jno winter snow

SmartPak is based in Plymouth, MA and the vast majority of our employees live here. While New England was lucky to have a warm fall and a relatively mild early winter, the temps here in Massachusetts hit single digits this

Posted in Blogs, Stories & Adventures

A Day in the Life of a Dressage Show Scribe


“Needs steadier connection” = 6.5 “Straight on center line, square and secure halt” = 8.0 “Could have better bend and balance” = 7.0 With exciting and interesting language like that awaiting my penmanship, I could hardly wait for the alarm

Posted in Blogs, Stories & Adventures

Tips for Preparing Your Farm for Winter Storms


After seven years of owning and maintaining a 13 acre horse farm in New England, I’ve learned a thing or two along the way about preparing our horses, our farm equipment, and the farm in general for snow storms. For

Posted in Blogs, Stories & Adventures

SmartPak Goes West: Highlights from HITS Thermal (So Far!)

January 2016 Blog 2

It’s hard to believe that four weeks of HITS Thermal are almost behind us, indicating that our brand new mobile store has been open for almost a month! We’ve had a blast meeting customers, catching up with some of our

Posted in Stories & Adventures

New Year, New Goals


I was never one to make goals or New Year’s resolutions typically because I usually forget what they were or they were never practical. After some thinking I was able to come up with a couple goals and hopes for

Posted in Stories & Adventures

Kaitlin’s Trailering Checklist

trailering blog pic

Whether you show every weekend, trailer out for lessons, or are moving barns, at some point you will likely have to travel with your horse. It can be stressful and overwhelming, especially if you’re horse doesn’t travel often, but there

Posted in Lists, Stories & Adventures

Courtney’s Top Picks for Winter Riding

snow barn

The freezing cold doesn’t stop me from going to the barn – you just have to make sure you are dressed right from head to toe! Here are some of my favorite picks for winter riding that keep me warm

Posted in Lists, Stories & Adventures

Staying Motivated for Winter Riding

snowy barn

It’s a cold, snowy afternoon in New England. The temps are hovering in the upper 20’s and the blowing snow make it easily feel in the teens. Now, New England weather in the winter can really be beautiful as long

Posted in Stories & Adventures

7 Things You Can Never Have Enough Of

Adriana Lafave

After many years as a working student I’ve learned there are some things you just can never have enough of at the barn. All of these items, although many are seemingly small, are hugely appreciated as a thoughtful gift to

Posted in Lists, Stories & Adventures

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