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Summer Camp Isn’t Just for Kids

Recently, Tally and I went to our first multi-day event up at the Green Mountain Horse Association in Vermont. We competed at our second USEA-recognized event and then stayed for a week of horse camp, which was just about the most fun I’ve ever had. Best thing about going to camp as an adult? Wine with dinner! 🙂

HOT was the theme of the first weekend – temps in the 90’s both days for the event – but Tally was a superstar and earned a 29 in her dressage, and only dropped one rail in stadium. She is still figuring out her balance at the canter, but it was one of our most solid jump rounds so far. Tally settled right into the routine and enjoyed hanging out in her stall with my dog Chappy.

A massive thunderstorm spoiled the afternoon on Sunday so we were not able to run cross-country. The event staff pinned the beginner novice division as a combined test and we ended up 4th!

Photo credits – Abby Clutz (dressage) and Flatlandsfoto (stadium)

Photo credits – Abby Clutz (dressage) and Flatlandsfoto (stadium)

Camp didn’t start until Tuesday so we went for a hack on Monday through the absolutely beautiful Vermont fields and trails.


Camp was so much better than I had even hoped it could be. Amazing clinicians, two lessons a day, catered meals, and lots of fun horse people to chat with. Tally and I learned so much and improved dramatically by the end of the week – my trainer couldn’t believe our progress and we decided a move up to Novice was in order for our next event in July. Until then we’ll be practicing and enjoying all our new skills, and I’m counting the days until I can head back up to VT – hopefully for the next USEA event in August!


Jennifer Bagley

Jen as a rider: 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 of eventing! After graduating I learned how to sit while working for a dressage trainer and now am a committed low-level eventer in the ever-elusive quest to put together three solid phases. Jen as a SmartPaker: I manage SmartPak's Retail Store in Natick, MA - if you are ever in the area, please stop by to say hi and check out all our amazing products in person! We also have a fantastic clearance section with some unbelievable deals. All about Tally: Taliafera is a 9 year old TB/WB chestnut mare and she is just starting her eventing career. She was very green when I got her last year, so we spent a lot of time exploring the great outdoors and learning that the dressage arena is really not that bad. She loves to jump and has gotten quite bold in the XC, so I'm excited to start showing!

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