I was a last minute team addition to an event SmartPak had spent months preparing for. It was our first trip to the All American Quarter Horse Congress and my first time attending a show with SmartPak. While I’ll admit to being just a little bit nervous, I was thrilled that my initiation was going to take place at Congress.
Because Congress spans nearly the entire month of October, my colleagues and I came to work the booth in shifts. I anxiously watched the days pass until it was finally time for me to head out to the home of the Buckeyes and join the rest of the SmartPak Team. After an eventful cab trip tour of Columbus I was relieved to finally arrive at the correct hotel and fall into bed, ready for a fresh start and new experiences at the SmartPak booth.
I honestly was not prepared for what I saw the next morning. Yes, I had seen the pictures on our Facebook page of our Congress set-up, but I had no idea that the literal towers of supplements would look so amazing and yet extremely scary for someone prone to physical accidents. After a momentary second of panic, I took a deep breath and entered the fortress of supplements…crossing my fingers that I wouldn’t cause the most horrendous booth accident in Congress history. I made it through my first day without a single bucket casualty and secretly gave myself a gold star and left with a greater confidence that I wouldn’t completely mess things up.
While I missed a few of SmartPak’s highlights at Congress, including the Small Fry Horsemanship and the Youth Team Tournament Awards, I got to spend some quality time talking horses with anyone who had a second to share a funny story or who just needed some general advice. I was also the designated chauffer and bucket retriever. If you and your bucket of supplements needed a ride to the car, barn, or trailer the SmartPak golf cart and I were there to help! Despite the cold and sometimes rainy trips (no, our golf cart did not have a convenient plastic cover) I heard many funny stories and life lessons about the tried and true Quarter Horse.
Whether you were at Congress to show or just to do a little bit of shopping (I walked away with a new saddle) it was truly an amazing experience. The days passed quickly and all too soon it was time to close up shop. While I had never been to a show with SmartPak I still think I can claim this one as a success. With new lessons learned and only one bucket lost to my clumsiness we packed the truck and headed back home.