Thanks, Mom! Love, SmartPak
“All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.”
– Abraham Lincoln
We couldn’t say it better ourselves—but we thought we’d try! After all, Mom has been our chauffeur, our #1 cheerleader, our groom, our mentor, our bank teller, and, most of all, our best friend from the first day we held our own curry comb. So this Mother’s Day, we couldn’t pass up a chance to thank our moms for giving us the greatest gift a bunch of horse-crazy girls could ask for—the chance to follow our dreams. Thanks, Mom, for everything!
My Mom is the strongest woman I know! After the unexpected loss of her husband, she raised five kids and made it look easy. She always had time for any hobbies or interests that we were involved in. For me- it was horses! We live on a small acreage in rural Minnesota, and I had wanted a horse for SO long. I’ll never forget the summer morning my Mom came into my room and told me “If I thought I was going to have a horse- I’d better get to work!” I never jumped out of bed so fast in my life!
My Mom had owned horses growing up- but all of this was totally new to me! That summer was spent installing posts, fencing, and building a small barn. By mid-August “Tilly”- a 7 year old Morgan mare- had joined the family. There were many struggles as we got to know one another, but I’m so glad I had my Mom there to encourage me. Tilly is still (and always will be) a part of our family. Here she is pictured with my Mom at our first Dressage Show! Thanks for everything, Mom! ❤
-Staci, Customer Care
“I have the best mom both in and out of the barn! I am lucky enough to have a mom and grandmother that were equestrians, so I was plunged headfirst into this amazing horsie world! My mom supported me from day one, from training my horses to toting me to the barn daily until I could drive myself! She was always there to hold a grouchy white mare for a pre-show bath or run halfway across the fairgrounds to get my forgotten spurs at the stalls. I also appreciate the times she would step back and let me become an independent horsewoman, letting me figure out a problem or learning from a mistake. I will forever be grateful to my mom for working multiple jobs to support my dream, traveling across the country for a 5-minute class, and always being ringside telling me to ‘smile’! Love you Mom, Happy Mother’s Day!”
– Kayleigh, Merchandising
“My mom is the best for many reasons. She fully jumped right into the horse world when my sister and I fell in love with horses and riding as kids. She’s always been supportive of my riding and being involved with horses. She drove me to countless riding lessons, got up really early to bring me to horse shows which took place all day, almost every summer weekend, and came to many of my IHSA shows to cheer me on in college. She listens almost daily stories about my rides with Nemo, things he’s learning, and updates on how he’s doing. She’s even come out to visit him and ride. She’s also dropped everything to be there for sad horse events that have happened when I’ve needed support. I’m very appreciative of everything she does .”
– Ellen, Customer Care
“I have the best support system when it comes to all things horses and Mom is definitely the leader of the pack! She (and my dad!) have been supporting me ringside at every show I’ve ever been in– I’m talking local schooling shows, recognized competitions as far away at New York and every IDA show in my four years of college including Nationals in North Carolina! She, more than anyone else, truly understands my dedication to riding and showing and what drives me to continue challenging myself.
Mom wears many hats including: Biggest Fan, Equine Photography, Caterer, Chauffeur & Horse Handler Extraordinaire. She doesn’t mind horse slobber, loves the smell of the barn, and is the most cheery person at 6 AM on show morning! She’s taught me the importance of setting goals for myself in life by empowering me to set goals for myself and Faith during our years competing together. By supporting me, she enabled me to learn (sometimes the hard way) that it takes hard work and commitment to get the things I want in life.
So thank you, Mom, for all rides to the barn, early morning and late-night support at shows, the hours you sat on the bench in the arena (in freezing cold and summer heat!) watching my lessons and for always having time to “talk horses” with me! I love you!”
– Adriana, Quality Assurance
“The day my mom signed me up for horseback riding lessons over 20 years ago, I don’t think she knew what she was doing. What she thought she was doing was giving an introverted child a place to pass the time during summer break. That quickly turned into giving rides to multiple lessons a week and cleaning stalls to help pay for them. And before we knew it, she was driving me to shows and banding manes. She even taught herself to make show clothes so that I could have something to wear in the ring. Against her better judgement, she even said “yes” when I begged to buy a weanling (spoiler alert: Dad said “No”). That weanling is now seventeen, my best friend, greatest teacher, and perpetually spoiled by my mom.
I don’t think she knew what she was doing that day because what she did was give me everything I’ve ever dreamed of. The horses she introduced me to have shaped every detail of my life from my friends to my career and it is all possible thanks to her love and sacrifice.
As your favorite poet, Jon Bon Jovi, says ‘thank you for loving me’, Mom.”
“I will never forget the Monday morning in July of 1990 when my mom came racing up the stairs and into my bedroom with news that would forever solidify my horse passion. As a 10-year-old obsessed with all things equine, she’d managed to enroll me in a local riding camp at the 11th hour of summer. My sweet mom—equally as ecstatic as I was—launched into overdrive to help me get ready for my first day. From that day forward, she diligently drove me to the barn twice a week for lessons, attended and videoed every show, served as master boot wiper and “water girl” on show days, and shared in my joys and disappointments.
She continued to support me in college when I rode on the Texas A&M Equestrian Team and endured artic temps to watch me compete during a freak cold snap. When my grandmother gifted me my first horse—a Thoroughbred gelding I named Memphis—as a college graduation present, my mom shared in my immense bliss of horse ownership. She has also been a constant help with my horse work life. During my tenure as an editor and photographer for Horse & Rider, my mom accompanied me on countless photo shoots and was a champ about taking direction and modeling for articles.
When I shattered my heel bone a few years ago and was bound to a knee scooter for four months, she was an incredible trooper driving me to the barn and fetching Memphis from his pasture for me. She was also there for me the morning after I’d buried my tear-soaked face in my beloved gelding’s mane for the last time and encouraged me to persevere and keep riding after I had to put him down. Thank you, Mom, for all your love and support and for always enriching my horse life!”
— Alana, Customer Care
“My mom, Gale, is the best because she always supports me and tells me how proud she is regardless of what it is, big or small. When I was 16, my trainer had mentioned going to the PHBA World Show in Tulsa, OK. I never thought we would be able to go, but my mom was as excited as I was about it and agreed to let me go. To my surprise, she joined me and my trainer for the 30-hour drive to Tulsa, OK. Aside from the horseshow experience and all of the successes we had at the show, I will always remember how much fun the three of us had driving out there and back. All of the funny things that happened, the crazy things we saw as we passed through each state, even just listening to the radio as we drove—it was a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I am so thankful for and wouldn’t have had if it weren’t for my mother.”
– Katrina, SmartBarn Services
“My mom is definitely not a horse person, but this has not stopped her from supporting her horse-crazy daughter and even makes it all the more meaningful. I wanted to say thank you to my mom, Carrie, for coming to my horse show in college to cheer me on, for supporting my crazy decision to move from Pennsylvania to Massachusetts to work for SmartPak, and for making the exhausting 8-hour drive to visit me, Val, and Oliver these past two summers! Your support means the world to me! I love you! Happy Mother’s Day!”
-Alyssa, Customer Care
“My mom is the best, she drove me to the barn every weekend so I could work with the horses and stayed to watch every riding lesson I ever had, no matter how wet, cold, or hot it was outside. She was always there. When I bought my horse Cocoa in 2007, rides to the barn were needed every day rather than just weekends, and she happily incorporated them into her schedule and stayed with me while I groomed and fussed over my new horse. She always did it with a smile on her face and documented every moment she could with pictures so I can look back at them now and remember the good times. Thanks for being the best, Mom! Happy Mother’s Day from Kristina and Cocoa!”
– Kristina, Equine Health
“I owe my Mom a lot—as a non-horse person, she sure embraced having a horse-crazed daughter. She drove me to the barn literally every weekday afternoon for years on end. She was my savior when Danny would not be caught before lesson time—we joked that to him she looked like a giant carrot. She tirelessly picked shavings out of my socks on every laundry day. She made sure every birthday card (even to this day) has a horse on it. And of course, she always had a knack for bringing exactly what I wanted to eat for horse show lunches. Her support never wavered, even in college she would come to watch my matches in my latest endeavor—polo. Thank you for everything, Mom!”
– Molly, Merchandising
“I want to give an extra big “Thank You!” to two very special ladies in my life! First is my mom, Patti, the “best horse show Mom” you could ever ask for! Whether it was running to grab me a copy of a pattern, having a cold drink at the best time, signing me up for classes, or being a co-pilot on the road- as long as it didn’t include holding a horse, she was your go to lady! The other woman I want to thank is my Auntie Mary Jo who really fueled my passion for my horses. Whether it was going with us to look at what became my heart horse, being there for important shows, and even just sitting around talking horses for hours. I couldn’t imagine life without her guidance. Happy Mother’s Day you two!”
-Megan, Customer Care
“Thank you, mom! Thank you for loving me with all your heart and doing everything in your power to help make my dreams come true. Thank you for always being on my side and being the true mama bear figure that you are. Thank you for waking up all those early mornings and staying up late to make my crazy horse schedule, your crazy horse schedule too. Thank you for being “food lady” not only to all my friends growing up but to all the horses (and other critters) in the barn. Thank you for always videoing my rides at shows because you were too nervous to watch without looking through the camera. Thank you for flying across the globe and driving up and down the country (multiple times) so that I could achieve my goals. Thank you for standing with me during my best moments, and being my shoulder to cry on during the worst. Thank you for adjusting your ear so you not only respond to “mom” but now turn around whenever you hear “MEEHHM”, “Madre”, “Ibu”, “Kaaaareeeeennn” and “MAHHH”. Thank you for always being in the mood to laugh and greet the day with a smile. Thank you, mom, for being you. I love you.
“My Mom has been my biggest supporter through all my younger horse show years. She NEVER missed a lesson or a show that I competed in. Now that I am an adult and back showing again, she is at every show, cheering me and my barn mates on! Thank you Mom, aka Weezie, for being so selfless and supporting me and my dreams. Lucky and I appreciate you and love you! I am happy to call you my Mom!”
-Linda, Customer Care
“My mom is there for me day in and day out with all the odds and ends of having horses! When my horse had a tendon injury and long recovery and rehab, she offered to walk him for me while I was at work. This was in the middle of our terrible Massachusetts winter, so she was walking him around and around inside our barn instead! It made a huge difference for me, and I’m happy to say that my horse has fully recovered now thanks to her help. She didn’t forget his birthday either, and made his customary cake which he gobbled up!”
– Elizabeth, Business Analytics
“My mother, Robin, is more than just a mother or a support system; she is my cheerleader, my point counter, my fashion consultant, and ring-side assistant. But most of all, she always believed in me. On my 16th birthday, my mother gave me two choices: go to Ireland on a mother/daughter trip or go chase your dreams in Oklahoma City at the Appaloosa Youth Worlds show. Clearly, I chose to show! She believed in me and my ability, and although I’m sure she would have rather have been sipping coffee, green mountainside, she was there ringside in 100-degree weather cheering me on. That’s my mother—my role model!”
– Brett, Customer Care
“I owe all the thanks and gratitude in the world to my mom, Mary, for all her support over the years! From the thousands of miles traveled back and forth to the barn, to the early morning alarms on horse show mornings, to footing the bill for this crazy expensive passion so that I could do what I love every day. I will forever be grateful for her taking on the challenge and learning how to take care of my horse while I was away at college; learning how to walk him from his paddock into the barn, groom him up (even picking out his feet) and of course always keeping a stockpile of peppermints and ginger snaps on hand. I know I would never be doing what I love to this day if it wasn’t for your unwavering encouragement and support. Thank you for always being my cheerleader, even when it meant standing outside at a horse show all day in the pouring rain. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do, I love that we get to share this passion together! Happy Mother’s Day, I love you!”
-Chelsea, Equine Health
“My mom is one of my biggest supporters and role models, always encouraging me to pursue my passions. She always tells the story about how when she saw my face light up the first time I sat on a horse in my Daisies group she knew riding lessons were going to be a must. Despite being severely allergic to horses, she spent many long days with me at the barn and at shows. She took this another step further when the horse 4-H club I was a member of for 10 years found itself without a leader when I was in high school, and despite already having a full-time job, my mom stepped up to the plate and took over – and did an amazing job! During her time as our 4-H leader, she led trips of 15 + plus girls to the AYHC conference in Kentucky, the World Horse Expo in Pennsylvania, Horsebowl contests, and many more. I also forgot to mention that for about 10 years she spent every Mother’s Day volunteering at and watching me ride in one of our local shows! Thanks, Mom for everything you do for me and supporting all of my dreams!”
– Amy, Merchandising
“I’ve had a lot of horse-related adventures (and misadventures), and not one of them would have been possible without the support of my amazing parents. When I was 8, my mom brought me to my first horseback riding lesson – I don’t think she knew what she was getting herself into!
Fast forward 20 years and she now has three grand-ponies and couldn’t be more supportive of me and my dream. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my mom’s love and support. Thank you, mom. Thanks for understanding why I love this crazy horse world, and thanks for enjoying it with me <3″
– Jamie, Customer Care
“I wouldn’t be the person or the equestrian I am today without my mom. It is only with her love and support that I have been able to accomplish everything that I have, she truly helps make my dreams come true in every way. She has always been there for me from the very beginning. I learned to ride when I was four years old in a “Mommy and Me” class, with her leading the horse around while I rode. She never misses a horse show, but she doesn’t come just to cheer me on; she grooms, tacks, untacks, puts in studs, bathes, and she has even been my “trainer” and jump crew at a handful of shows. She is always the first one to tell me when I had a good round and rode well (and the first to tell me if I really sucked!). She always knows exactly how many points I have, and who is Champion and Reserve before they even announce it. Horse shows and riding in general just really wouldn’t be the same without her. And even though she’s only dabbled in riding (for now), I love that she loves the horses and this sport just as much as I do. But my mom isn’t just an amazing horse mom, she is my role model and my best friend. I really wouldn’t be able to do what I do without her. Thank you for everything, Mom. I love you.
I have to share a special thank you to my grandma for all of her love and support as well. She always know just what to say on the good days and the bad. My grandma is actually the person who convinced me to try give my current horse, Duncan, so without her advice I would have missed out on a very incredible partnership with a very special horse!”
“Despite being slightly afraid of horses (don’t let the smile in the picture fool you), my mom has never missed a show, turned down a request to go riding with me, or shied away from wearing any and all of the hats that come with being the mom of a horse-crazy kid. Her unwavering support and love for both me and my passion for the sport, has made all the difference. Thank you, mom, for everything- Phantom, and I so greatly appreciate it!”
– Shannon, Customer Care
“My mom is the best horse-show-mom to hold the title. When I was a kid, you could always find her holding my pony between classes, helping me neatly tuck my hair into my helmet, or wiping dust off my boots before I went in the ring. When I was older I groomed at horse shows, and my mom worked in the secretary’s office to offset all my own entry fees. Somehow between being a horseshow secretary, her own career, and all of my extracurriculars, she never missed watching my rounds.
She never complained about the time or the cost, she just made sure I was having fun. I’m so lucky to have grown up with her setting such an incredible example of support and hard work. I’ll never be able to thank her enough for everything she did and still does for me. I love you, Mom.”
– Jenna, E-Comm