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Thanks, Dad! Love, SmartPak

Posted on: June 18, 2020 by SmartPak


“My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.” – Jim Valvano


Dads can do it all. From fixing the wonky board in our horse’s stall, lifting those SUPER heavy water buckets we had to fill all the way to the top, and taking our photos with our ribbons at the end of a long show day.  We’re so grateful to have dads that love their horse-crazy daughters, and on Father’s Day especially we wanted to say thank you for always supporting our dreams and believing in our goals. Thanks, Dad, having your love and support has been the greatest gift!

“I am so very grateful to my Dad for all his support for my sister and me. While he never caught the horse bug himself he certainly jumped in when we started riding! He loved to hear how our lessons went, what we did when we spent all day at the barn, how the horses behaved at our show for that weekend, and how much fun we had each day. He was so invested in our hobby that he made us a barn in our back yard and made it one of his own dreams to be able to bring our horses home. It was always a treat to have him standing by the ring and I still don’t know how he does it but he always knew exactly what we needed to change to win the flat classes just by watching our competitors. Thank you for all you do and have done to make my horse dreams come true, Dad. Happy Father’s Day!”
– Morgan, Customer Care

“My Dad was (and still is!) awesome around the horses. He made it to most of my lessons over the years, and was our barn’s Horse Show Photographer while I was growing up. After the show, he would get all the photos developed and hand them out to the kids and parents. He was also known to carry around a towel and dust off my boots at a show, hand out bottles of water on hot days, and get snacks for everyone. He always encouraged me, and knew it was something I loved. He still asks me all about the horses and my lessons.”
– Jen, Business Analytics

“When it comes to my riding, my dad was there every step of the way. From buying me my first horse to riding my horse in the Jack Benny class (leadline for those over 40 years old), my dad was so supportive and proud of me and my riding accomplishments. My favorite memory is of the PHBA Youth World Show. I drove out to Oklahoma with my horse, along with my trainer and my mom to the PHBA Youth World Show, but my dad couldn’t come because he had to work. We were out there for three weeks and the day before my Youth Hunter Hack class my dad decided to fly out for two days to watch. I was so excited for him to be there and the best part of it all is that he was there when I won the Youth Hunter Hack class. I remember walking out of the ring and my dad was in tears and he gave DJ a big ole pat on the neck and told him what a good boy he was, and of course congratulated me on my win. I will remember that moment for the rest of my life, I was so happy to have him there and he was so proud. Since then (10 years ago), I am sure that almost every person my dad has had a conversation with has heard about our win… seriously.”
– Katrina, SmartBarn Services

“My dad, Ron, has been a barn dad since I started riding almost 28 years ago.  He has been by my side from my first walk-trot lessons, the purchase of my first horse when I was a teenager, and watching my adult riding career.  I recently had a major health event and had to spend several months out of the saddle.  Dad was there to help with the mucking and feeding while I was not able to.  For my first ride back, my dad was right by my side helping me through some anxiety over getting on my pony and staying calm as he walked me around the round pen.  He was such a comforting presence, and it’s a memory that I will never forget (especially since we were in the new normal of wearing face masks!).  Thanks for all the riding and life lessons Dad, I’ve learned a lot from you and the horses you helped me have in my life!”
– Jess, Written Communication

“He’s a great horse show dad because he lets us go to more horse shows and we get to stay longer even if we aren’t showing. He always watches us show.” – Trent

“He is there for us whether it’s in the arena or in life. He teaches us about the importance of hard work and always pushes us to be the best while being supportive.” – Taylor

– The Searles, TeamSmartPak Family

“My dad has been the best. Without him, my boots would never have been as shiny, my tack never as clean, and my showing never as supported. He always greeted my horse with a big pat on the neck and more than a few carrots tucked away in his pocket. He didn’t complain at how long the show days were, and he always wanted to know how I thought I had done at the end of a ride. He’s never been known to say no to a trail ride either, even while being really really allergic to horses. I’ll never know how uncomfortable it was to be so supportive over the years, but I’ll always appreciate that he was there for me. From walk-trot shows through my college team competitions, thank you for being there, Dad.”
– Jenna, Brand & Experience

“My dad likes to joke that he wishes I played tennis, yet he’s the one who took me on my first pony ride and started this lifelong passion. Despite his jokes, my dad has fully embraced the sport, and has gained a number of impressive titles such as, Head Groom, Master Chef (arguably the best part of IHSA shows was the lunch setup), The Fastest Add/Scratch Form Submitter on the East Coast, Chief Boot Shiner, and Official Course Walk Buddy. My dad can joke all he wants about tennis, but we all know who’s the first person ringside, counting strides and taking notes on the competition. Thank you Dad, for all the love and support, and for keeping everything in line, on time, and polished until it shines!”
– Shannon, Client Services

“My dad has always been my greatest supporter. After college I’m certain he was hoping I would get a “real job” but he gave me his blessing to chase my Olympic dream and has had my back 100% through is all. There have been a lot of highs and lows (probably more lows than highs) and through his example, he has taught me perseverance and to always maintain a positive outlook. He is a tremendous guy!!!! I am soooooo lucky! Happy Father’s Day!!”
-Allison Springer, Team SmartPak Rider

“Thank you to my Daddy for being my groom, driver, stall mucker, sideline cheerleader, dinner buddy, and best friend – not only on the long horse show road of 23 years – but for life. Every championship I won was because you were there!”
-Brett, Client Services

“I want to wish my dad a Happy Father’s Day in heaven today! Words cannot describe how very much I miss him. My dad was always my biggest supporter and fan. He was the best dad a girl could have! I wish so much that he was still here today and that he could meet Val and Oliver! I know he’d love his grandbabies so much!”
-Alyssa, Customer Care

“My Dad has always been my foremost supporter and exemplar! He is a man of integrity and strong faith. If it weren’t for my Dad, I don’t know where I’d be in life. Through all of life’s ups and downs, he has stood by me and been a demonstration of how to walk with decency and reliability. I am grateful he got me into horseback riding as a kid and continues to encourage my riding today. He not only supported my expensive passion when I was young but has come to every competition, so many lessons, and loves every horse and pony I’ve ever ridden. Can’t wait to get you back to the barn Dad; Cozmo misses you and your healthy snacks!”
-Jessica, Accounting

When your daughter tells you she wants to trade in her soccer cleats for tall boots, some dads might shake their head – but not mine. My dad has been the biggest supporter of my riding career. He did it all, from driving me to the barn every weekend for lessons to helping me prepare for my horse shows. When I went off to college, my dad went down to the barn almost every day to visit and groom my horse (and feed him one too many apple treats). I don’t think I will ever be able to thank him enough for everything he has done for me and my horse. To this day, he will never let me go into the show ring unless my boots are polished to his standards… and yes, that means spit-shined.
– Kelcie, Brand & Customer Experience

“He taught me to work hard and to never give up, and I know that his example helped bring me to where I am today. I’m lucky to have grown up looking up to him, and I continue to do so every day. Thanks, Dad. Happy Father’s Day!”
-Ryan Wood, Team SmartPak Rider

“My Dad has always been one of my biggest fans. He supported me and my girls with our riding through our many many years. He was the shipper, the groom, and the bank (ha). My Dad traveled all over the east coast to watch my son compete in motocross. He traveled all over the country, with my Mom, to be with his family! Even in his last weeks, on oxygen 24/7, he could be seen on his beloved red tractor mowing the fields. My Dad was a special person, who will never leave me or my family, even now that he is gone. Dad, your guiding soul will forever remain with me. Happy Father’s Day in Heaven!!!!
-Linda, Customer Care


“Thank you to my dad for being the best horse show dad out there. From trailering to mucking stalls you really do it all! I am so lucky to have your love and support in everything I do. Thank you for everything, Dad! Happy Father’s Day, I love you.”
-Danielle, Brand & Customer Experience