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Keeping up with the SmartPakers: weekend update – January 21, 2013


During the week, you know our life is no mystery: we are here working hard to make you happier and your horse healthier. But what do we do on the weekend, you ask? The mystery is finally revealed! Read about what SmartPakers did this past weekend and see if any of our adventures sound similar to yours…


“I had the opportunity to audit the Jan Ebeling clinic at Old Barrington Farm this Saturday. If you remember, Jan was a member of our dressage team at the 2012 London Olympics on the mare Rafalca, co-owned by Ann Romney. They were both very good sports about the foam finger fun! Jan was an excellent instructor—able to explain classic dressage principles like ‘inside leg to outside rein’ in ways so that many of us finally understood the ‘why’ of it. He was also kind, patient, and gracious, seamlessly blending humor into his teaching. My biggest takeaway from the clinic was that riders should give a vocal cue for each and every transition, both up and down. He said that if you add a sound—not necessarily a word but perhaps a hum or clearing of the throat—the tone of which either calms your horse down or revs him up, it becomes another aid like your seat, legs and hands. He advised, ‘Just don’t get caught in the show ring!” – Dr. Lydia Gray, Staff Veterinarian


“We spent all day Sunday at Wachusett Mountain for our first ski trip of the season! It was 50 degrees, sunny, and very crowded because of the holiday weekend, but we still had lots of fun!” – Claire, IT

“Just returned from the USEF Annual Meeting in Louisville, KY. As usual, we had a fantastic mix of solid business discussion teamed with a fair share of late-evening antics with the work hard/play hard USEF crew. I came home to Massachusetts with plenty of colorful memories to last until the next annual meeting. I will say that while SmartPak may be a long-time USEF corporate partner, we don’t make a very good bowling team—thankfully, our dancing partnership skills are (a bit) better.” 🙂 – Colby, Marketing


“Becky, Susan, and I were up at a Derek Reed Jumping Clinic last weekend in Hampton Falls, NH! It made for quite the early morning with a 1.5 hour drive, but it was totally worth it. We had a blast, learned a lot, and made some great friends. The horses in the pictures are Merlin, Tiffany (in her stall) and Cinnimini—worlds cutest name for a miniature horse!” – Courtney, Customer Care


Ever stayed in a Marriott? If so you’ve seen this omnipresent portrait of the Patriarch and his son. In an inside look at what really happens at the USEF convention, here is Paal Gisholt (our CEO) mock-posing with Jim Wolfe, USEF’s high performance team lead. Apparently Jim’s been traveling with a roll of wrapping paper for years, waiting on just such an opportunity.

“My boyfriend and I celebrated our 28th birthdays (we’re three days apart, which makes me a cougar!) this past weekend with a revisit to birthday parties of past by going bowling with my family! My parents, sister, and her fiancé, had a great time bowling the night away with us. We’re all incredibly competitive so it was, of course, a brutal battle to victory. In the end, my Mom came away as the night’s winner—sorry Dad! Any time I get to spend with my favorite people, a.k.a. my family, makes me happy and it was a wonderful birthday.” 🙂
– Sara, Customer Care


“On Saturday night, I attended the SmartPak Post Holiday party. It was a lot of fun! It’s always nice to see everyone dressed up. Then Sunday was spent on football and lamenting New England’s loss to Baltimore.”
– Emily, Accounting


“This past weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to attend the USEF convention with a few members of the Johnson and Wales Intercollegiate Dressage team. My coach and a fellow teammate accepted an award on behalf of our entire team that participated and won IDA nationals back in April 2012. It was an exciting experience to say the least. I want to express my gratitude to each and every member of the team for their hard work and dedication, which made this trip a possibility. A special thanks goes out to Coach Crystal Taylor for her continuous support and love for the sport of Dressage. You bring it to life for all of us.” – Tierney, Customer Care


“Last weekend I went to the Pats game versus the Texans. I hadn’t been to a Patriots game for a few years, and we picked the perfect day to go. We won that game, and it was a relatively warm day for January. I went with my husband, sister (fellow SmartPaker!), and her boyfriend. We tailgated for a few hours and just generally enjoyed ourselves. It was a blast! Of course last night’s game was very sad, but we won’t dwell on that. This weekend was much more low-key. I may be a huge nerd for this, but yesterday I Skyped with my horse, Hershey. He is in Virginia for some training and I miss him like crazy. He was super intrigued about hearing my voice coming from the phone and would perk his ears and stare one eyeball into the camera every time I said his name. It was pretty silly, but it totally made my day—amazing what technology can do!” – Amanda, Store


“I had very horse-filled weekend! On Saturday, I picked up a horse I am taking on a free lease for a year. He is a super cute pinto that I rode for several years before buying my first horse, so it is great having him back in the family for a little while! Then it was off to back-to-back banquets for the two local riding clubs I’m a part of. My horse Sam got his first Champion ribbon ever (in the Games division for all his hard work in the egg and spoon classes). Then the dressage club gave me roses as a thank you for doing their website—I was completely surprised, and touched!” – Elizabeth, Customer Care


“This weekend, my boyfriend and I traveled to NH for a weekend at Loon Mountain Resort. We got to spend some time relaxing, watching the falling snow, and even enjoyed a dip in the outdoor hot tub.” – Kerri, Marketing


“After looking forward to the AFC Championship Game all weekend, things kind of took a turn for the worse and even Henley was seen mourning the Patriots loss. Next year will be our year though—I just know it! Until then, go 49’ers!” – Laura, Customer Care


“This weekend, my dog, Truman, and I got to take a trip to some cranberry bogs. He misses being able to run around and get dirty, so it was a fabulous time! I am new to SmartPak and also new to Massachusetts, so the bogs were definitely a new experience. It was slightly warm this weekend, which was perfect for walking and watching Truman have tons of fun!” – Jessica, Customer Care


“This weekend I traveled to my first clinic with my own horse! Newt hasn’t done a ton of trailer loading, and this was his first time going to another indoor for a lesson since I’ve owned him. I was so proud of how calm and connected to me he seemed in the new environment, including being able to munch hay on the trailer during lunch. Huge for him. We played a lot with understanding sideways and lateral movements while also doing some confidence building with items such as balls and pedestals. All in all, we learned a ton but kept the relationship first! It was a fantastic day!” – Casey, Customer Care

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