Blog Archives

How to Train Your Equine-Turned-Dragon: A Stall Rest Saga


SmartPaker Jenna shares the story of her horse Hershey’s stall rest saga: For equestrians the phrase “stall rest” is about as horrifyingly vague as “tax audit” or “temporarily out of stock“. Knowing my active and easily-bored gelding, it sounded like

Posted in Blogs, Stories & Adventures

Peek in our Paks – Eden B.


Ever wish you could take a sneak peek inside our horses’ SmartPaks? Now you can! Check out the supplements we love, for the animals we adore. This Month’s Pick SmartPaker: Eden Department: Customer Care Name: Toy Story (“Woody”) Discipline: Hunter/Jumper

Posted in Blogs, Peek In Our Paks, Stories & Adventures

5 Ways to Make Your Barn Manager’s Life Easier


I currently board my mare at a full board facility, and with a full-time job I am very fortunate for that! However, I have also had the opportunity to be in many different boarding situations, including rough board and co-op

Posted in Blogs, Stories & Adventures

You’re Never Too Old to be a Barn Rat

Sara R 3

When the weekend arrives and I have two whole glorious days to spend in Barn Rat mode, I get all giddy inside! I instantly fall back into the routine I developed over 20 years ago when I was first given

Posted in Stories & Adventures

Summer Fun! Swimming with Horses


So what do you think of the title of my blog? Does it make you instantly go into a panic? Or maybe gets you totally excited? Where does it take you? On the trails to the pond? To the beach?

Posted in Stories & Adventures

Pond + Pony

Towards the end of last summer my barn owner had what she called a “brilliant” idea. She thought it would be a great idea to wrap up the summer with an epic trail ride. Epic can mean something different to

Posted in Stories & Adventures

Wearing a helmet saved my life!


Some days are just another day at the barn. Some days and experiences can change your life. Here is my story, and the reason I’ll never ride without helmet again. What happened? I was a very confident rider at the

Posted in Stories & Adventures

Horses: Hawaii Style!


My husband and I finally made it back to Hawaii in January 2015 for a belated anniversary gift to ourselves. We had officially tied the knot in The Aloha State (we got “maui’d” on Maui) and loved it so much

Posted in Stories & Adventures, Travel

Dreams and Journeys

Jumping in FL

Florida has been a dream of mine for many years. Not the Mickey Mouse, roller-coaster Florida, but the green pastures, miles of fence-line, horses as far as the eye can see Florida. This year, due to the generosity of my

Posted in Stories & Adventures

A little help from my friends


When I adopted Kai at 9 months old, I was looking forward to bringing him along myself. We started easy, spending time together and bonding in turnout and working on our grooming time. He was a natural. Loved being around

Posted in Stories & Adventures

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

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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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