Jen ♥'s Intrinsic
SmartPaker: Jen from Web Merchandising Horse: Intrinsic "Trin", Thoroughbred mare 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: As the Director of Web Merchandising, I get to work with a super talented bunch of designers, developers, buyers, and marketers to help you find just what you need (and a few things you didn't know you needed!) on our website. All about Intrinsic: Intrinsic, or "Trin," is a very sweet and snuggly dark bay 16.2 hand TB gelding born in 2013 who race trained but never raced. He loves hacking out with friends and is learning about dressage and eventing. He loves carrots but has no interest in apples, and makes very funny faces when he eats anything peppermint flavored!
Lydia ♥'s Newman
SmartPaker: Lydia, Staff Veterinarian Horse: Newman, Trakehner gelding Lydia as a rider/driver: I got my first horse in 7th grade, discovered dressage in high school, and haven't looked back since. I've slowly been accruing USDF performance awards (graduating with distinction from their "L" judges education program, getting my Bronze Medal, etc). Now I'm adding driving awards to our collection. As we explore the world of hunters, could additional trophies be in our future? Stay tuned! Lydia as a SmartPaker: I joined SmartPak in 2006 as the staff veterinarian and medical director and continue to learn new medical info and new technology. From presentations at horse expos to webinars and videos, and from health care articles to Ask the Vet blogs and our new Ask and Answer feature, we're on the cutting edge of getting the most up-to-date facts and figures into the hands of horse owners. All about Newman: While it hasn't always been easy with "Newmie-poo," as he's affectionately called (pulled suspensory, colic surgery, PSSM, inflammatory airway disease), I am enjoying horse ownership more than ever before with this spectacular Trakehner who does it all: rides, drives, jumps, trail rides, goes side saddle; we've even tried bareback!
Kerri ♥'s Luna
SmartPaker: Kerri from Marketing Horse: Luna, 1998 Connemara/Thoroughbred mare Kerri as a rider: I've been riding since the age of 10, starting out in 4-H and Pony Club. I competed in eventing at the local level before focusing solely on dressage. I competed on the IDA team in college and have continued to compete in USDF dressage shows at the local and regional level. Kerri as a SmartPaker: As the Marketing Manager for SmartSupplements, it's my job to help horse owners learn about all of the wonderful supplements we offer. It warms my heart to think of the many horses who have benefited from SmartSupplements over the years- and I love seeing their photos and stories! All about Luna: Luna is a 1998 Connemara/Thoroughbred black mare. Although she is only 15.2, she has enough personality for a much larger horse. Her nickname around the barn is "Diva", but her name show name "Mezzaluna" is Italian for crescent, in reference to her moon-shaped star. We're aiming to show Second Level dressage this year, and I couldn't be more excited!
Karen ♥'s Macy
SmartPaker: Karen from IT Horse: Macy, 2007 Quarter Horse mare Karen as a rider: My mom always had horses and it wasn't long before I caught the horse bug and never looked back! I started out in 4-H and soon found myself competing on the AQHA circuit in addition to showing IHSA in college. These days, Macy and I do AQHA shows whenever we get the chance. Karen as a SmartPaker: As a Quality Assurance Engineer, it's my job to double (sometimes triple) check to make sure that shopping and navigating our website is easy and pain free. I also work behind the scenes to help ensure that everything functions correctly so we can get your SmartPaks and goodies out the door! All about Macy: Macy is a 2007 bay Quarter Horse mare who always knows how to keep me on my toes. She started off showing in the Western Pleasure and has gone on to add Horsemanship, Trail, Halter and Showmanship to her All-Around resume.
Kristina ♥'s Cocoa
SmartPaker: Kristina from Customer Care Horse: Cocoa, Quarter Horse mare Kristina as a rider: My love of horses started when I was three years old but I didn't start riding until I was six. I took lessons once a week on a lunge line and gradually worked up from there. I remained actively taking lessons and participating in local schooling shows. Once I got my horse, Cocoa I began to trail ride and just learn as much as I could about riding. We didn't show very often but when we did we had a blast. Mostly, we rode for fun, and we still do today. Kristina as a SmartPaker: As part of SmartPak's legendary Customer Care Team, I love hearing all of our customers' stories about their horses and what they do with them. I do call myself a supplement nerd because I love putting together supplement programs that are tailored to fit each horse's individual needs. All about Cocoa: Cocoa is the love of my life. She is a 1992 Quarter Horse mare (but don't tell her how old she is - she believes she's more like 15). I first met Cocoa in 2005 when we worked together as a team doing therapeutic lessons. When she retired from the program, I was able to buy her and start my adventure as a first-time horse owner. In the years I've known Cocoa, we've been through a lot together. We primarily ride for pleasure but will jump at the chance to go to a local fun show. Cocoa knows how to give hugs, come when I call her and, her most famous trick, she sticks her tongue out every time I try to take a picture of her!
Molly ♥'s Danny
SmartPaker: Molly from Merchandising Horse: Danny, Quarter Horse gelding Molly as a rider: After begging my parents non-stop, they finally gave in let me take lessons when I was six years old. As the only horse person in my family, we're still not quite sure where "the bug" came from. My current horse, Danny, is the very first lesson horse I rode! I went on to become a 4-H kid, showing in all the local shows, doing hunter/jumper and dressage. In college I caught another, perhaps even more serious "bug" - polo. I played 4 years straight (indoor and out); and Cornell won the National title all 4 years I was there. Currently I trail ride Danny and plan to get back into polo in the future, as I miss it dearly. Molly as a SmartPaker: As a longtime member of the Merchandising department, I've had the opportunity to learn many different aspects of the department, with my latest venture being on the Inventory Control Team, which I love. I get to buy fun horse "stuff," every week - for our customers! All about Danny: Born "Cassity Dan" in Oklahoma, Danny is a classic seal brown 1986 Quarter Horse. We began our adventure together when I was 6 and he was 5. Needless to say we've had too many adventures to count! He's bombproof when he wants to be, but has a lovable grumpy demeanor that has resulted in some pretty impressive bucks and pasture jumping excursions. He's truly an awesome example of the breed, as he can do anything asked, including first level dressage, jumping, trail class (state champ!), and allowing me to hit polo balls when I was desperate to practice. Although he's the classic western build, my heart was always in English disciplines. Our favorites times together have always been, and continue to be, out on the trail exploring. And it probably goes without saying that he's been on SmartFlex Senior ever since I started with SmartPak.
Ellen ♥'s Nemo
SmartPaker: Ellen from Customer Care Horse: Nemo, Morgan gelding Ellen as a rider: I can't remember a time when I didn't love horses. I started riding when I was eight, grew up as an active 4-H member, and showed in hunter/jumper shows. In college, I rode on the IHSA team and also found my new passion - dressage. My parents got my first horse, and my childhood best friend, Lego for me when I was 12. I found my current horse and buddy Nemo a few years ago. We currently enjoy dressage, trail riding, jumping, horse showing, and hunter paces. Ellen as a SmartPaker: I work on our Customer Care Team’s Written Communications Team, which means I get to email with our customers each day. I love being able to combine my love of writing and horses, and it’s so much fun getting to know everyone and helping with supplement suggestions and options to keep their horses happy and healthy. All about Nemo: Nemo is a 16hh black Morgan who I found in New Hampshire. He was actually born at a really neat Morgan farm that breeds all black Morgans in Alberta, Canada. He has such a friendly, playful personality, and is known to act more like a happy black lab than a horse at times. (He also loves all the kids at the barn where I keep him, and gives great hugs). When I found him, he was still a bit green, and it’s been such a fun adventure training him. He’s always trying so hard to learn new things, and I have so much fun riding him. We ride hunt seat and dressage, and our absolute favorite riding place is the jumper ring or out galloping through the woods on a hunter pace. I’m looking forward to many more adventures in the years to come with Nemo.
Shannon ♥'s Phantom
SmartPaker: Shannon from Customer Care Horse: Phantom, Quarter Horse Gelding Shannon as a rider: I fell in love with horses after my father convinced me to take a pony ride at a birthday party when I was five. Initially, I was terrified and wanted nothing to do with the pony, but by the end of the ride my tears were dry and I was all smiles! A few years of begging and pleading later, my parents signed me up for lessons and I haven’t looked back since. I have made the hunter/jumper discipline my focus and home since I started lessons at age seven, and have had the opportunity to compete at all the major local finals, as well as some larger shows like HITS on the Hudson. While I tended to stand out in the line ups for my equitation and hunter classes with my Appaloosa, Stewart Little, and later my western started Quarter Horse gelding, Phantom, I managed to hold my own and always have fun! In college, I competed in the IHSA on the Stonehill College Equestrian Team, which introduced me to an incredibly talented and diverse group of riders, some of whom I am lucky enough to work with at SmartPak! Shannon as a SmartPaker: As a member of the Customer Care Team, I am able to combine my passion for writing and communication with my love for horses and riding. I can usually be found helping new owners develop supplement programs for their first horses over the phone, or providing a first time show dad with show jacket recommendations via email. My favorite aspect of my job is being able to find creative solutions to questions, ensuring that our riders are happy and their horses are healthy! All about Phantom: O’Behave, or "Phantom," is a 30+-year-old Quarter Horse gelding, and my once-in-a-lifetime horse. Phantom had been a feature of my barn long before I even began taking lessons. After outgrowing my Appaloosa, Stewart Little, who was more suited to Western Pleasure than the hunter/jumper ring, I lacked the confidence and determination that had convinced my parents to give in to my begging for riding lessons, and eventually, a pony. Too tall for the lesson ponies and too timid for a young, green horse, I found myself asking if I could take lessons on Phantom, who in his late 20’s was in the process of being sold. My parents and trainer relented, even though they were sure Phantom’s habit of racing up to the fences would scare me even more than my pony’s naughty antics had. Four big strides and one fence later, I was grinning like a fool and for the first time in years, no longer begging my trainer to pull the fences down a hole. After reinstalling my confidence and helping me fall back in love with the sport, Phantom now spends his days happily semi-retired. While he prefers being king of the field, he can still be found in the ring, helping new and timid riders one big, yet decidedly slower, stride at a time.
Marielle ♥'s Gizmo & Glory
SmartPaker: Marielle from the SmartPak Retail Store Horse: Gizmo, Morgan/Connemara gelding, and Glory, Thoroughbred gelding Marielle as a rider: My love for horses began when I was nine years old when my parents sent me to a week of pony camp. One week was all it took and I never looked back. Soon enough I was spending almost every day after school at the barn, taking lessons, helping around the farm, whatever it took just to be around the horses. When I was 16, I was lucky enough to bring home my first pony Gizmo. In high school I competed Gizmo on the local hunter/jumper circuit, before going off to college where I competed with my school’s IHSA team. I now lease an older OTTB, Glory and mainly ride just for fun, with no current plans to compete. Marielle as a SmartPaker: I work full-time at the SmartPak Retail Store helping customers find exactly what they need to keep their horses happy and healthy. I love being able to spend my day talking and interacting with people from every corner of the horse world! All about Gizmo & Glory: Gizmo is a 16-year-old Morgan/Connemara cross pony, standing 14.2 hands. He’s been with me about 7 years now, but is currently leased out to a younger rider, and together they are learning the ropes of beginner eventing. Previously he took me around the local show circuit, mostly in the jumper ring, which was a blast! He certainly is a spunky little man, and has taught me so much over the years! Glory is an 18-year-old OTTB, but he definitely still thinks he’s 5, and keeps me on my toes! He’s such a big loveable goofball, and is always on the hunt for any cookies that might be hiding in your pockets!
Jillian ♥'s Duke
SmartPaker: Jillian from the SmartPak Retail Store Horse: Duke, pony gelding Jillian as a rider: I started riding when I was eight in Western Massachusetts. I’ve always ridden hunter/jumper, but I’ve also spent several years in my local Pony Club and have dabbled into the dressage world a little bit, too. I was very competitive as a junior; you were most likely to find me in the pony hunters on an adorable medium paint pony. When I went off to college in the Midwest, I was fortunate enough to get to ride every single day and expand my knowledge of training hunters and jumpers. Now, I’m back on the East Coast and I ride more for fun and less for ribbons – much more my style! Jillian as a SmartPaker: I work in the Retail Store as the Shipping Manager and a Lead Sales Associate! This means that I get to talk to awesome horse people all day and help them find the perfect products for their four-legged friends AND I’m responsible for all of the customer orders that are shipped from the store. My job is a lot of fun and never truly feels like “work.” I love talking to customers about their horses and hearing all their great stories – it’s a bonus when we get to see pictures of them rocking their new SmartPak gear! All about Duke: Duke is a bay pony cross that came to me in the winter of 2009, when a friend of mine sent me a message saying, “I got you a pony, you’re going to love him!” When I first met him, I was a little less impressed; he was very underweight and not the most fun ride. After we put some weight on him and addressed some health issues, Duke made a complete 180 and became my partner in crime. He LOVES to jump, and at over 20 years old, he wouldn’t put in any effort unless the jumps were at least 3’. He is full of personality and just a great guy to be around.
Katie ♥'s Juliet
SmartPaker: Katie from Finance Horse: Juliet, Thoroughbred/Connemara mare Katie as a rider: I began riding when I was in 5th grade and have been hooked since. Growing up as a kid I was always at the barn doing stalls, cleaning tack, and taking care of any horse that needed a little extra TLC. I was an avid Pony Clubber competing in the hunters, jumpers, equitation, as well as dressage and eventing. Katie as a SmartPaker: I'm part of SmartPak's Finance team. I spend my time developing fun excel sheets as well as reports and data analysis specifically for our Customer Care and Merchandising teams. All about Juliet: Juliet came into my life as she was just not working out as a school pony (she likes scoot at anything out of the ordinary). She has a lot of personality in a little package. Juliet is one of the sweetest mares who LOVES attention and thinks she's pretty cute. Every morning as the horses are turned out she is nickering away until all her friends are around her. We've been a team for a little over a year and with a little support from SmartCalm Ultra, she's been doing great! Over the last year we've been competing in small dressage and two-phase events, with the hopes of doing a small three-phase event soon.
Elizabeth ♥'s Sam & Razz
SmartPaker: Elizabeth from Customer Care Horse: Sam & Razz, Arabian geldings Elizabeth as a rider: I once read the suggestion that you should ride 100 horses before you buy one, so that's what I did. I ride dressage now, but I started out at a hunter/jumper barn, rode at an eventing camp in the summers, and went western on vacations and with friends. In recent years, I've discovered the areas where classical dressage and natural horsemanship intersect, and have been following that path ever since. I also help run the small stable where my horses live. Elizabeth as a SmartPaker: I am a Senior Team Leader for Customer Care. Most of my time is spent helping my reports with their customers, training new hires and scheduling the team's trainings, meetings and shifts (Outlook and I are best buds). I also still jump on emails and phones when I can, since customers make my day! All about Sam & Razz: I always dreamed of owning an Arabian, and now I own two! Sam is super steady, loves trail riding and parades, and is very patient with my dressage aspirations in the ring. Razz is flashy, loves learning new things, and I think just enjoys being a horse after a long show career as a youngster. They're both "senior" at this point but you would never know it.
Lyn ♥'s Sparkles
SmartPaker: Lyn from Customer Care Horse: Sparkles, domestic short-haired cat Lyn as a rider: I started riding in the hunter/jumper world when I was 9 years old. While I realized pretty quickly that the show ring wasn't for me, I knew would always ride for the love of horses and have ridden and worked in various barns ever since. Up until I went to college, I had a miniature horse named Cody. He ended up not being very "mini", but he was definitely too little to ride so we spent time lunging, playing tag, and working on his manners (he was sassy!). I don't own a horse right now, but am lucky enough to have some great horses nearby to ride. I'm currently focusing on improving my English skills in the ring and enjoying the trails in either an EnglisWestern saddle. Lyn as a SmartPaker: I have been with SmartPak since November of 2011. I started by helping our amazing riders over the phone, and now I help our riders over chat on our website and by email. I also help us all stay connected through our Horse Health Forum, Facebook, and Instagram. I love being able to help make things easier, faster, or smarter for our riders and their horses every day! All about Sparkles: My cat Sparkles is the feline love of my life! Her mom was feral but we think she's a domestic shorthair of sorts. She's starting to get older, but she still acts like a kitten and gives the best snuggles around. She wishes she could come to SmartPak to visit, but I doubt she would appreciate the company of the office dogs!
Jenna ♥'s Hershey
SmartPaker: Jenna from Customer Care Horse: Hershey, Dutch Warmblood Gelding Jenna as a rider: I started taking lessons when I was 7 and quickly fell off enough times to know I loved riding down to my core. I was lucky enough to move from my first pony, Hercules, to a hunter horse, Ghost, and then to an equitation horse, Hershey. After Hershey took me through my years in the junior medals, he helped me get a scholarship to ride for a D1 NCAA Equestrian team. We traveled all over the country and I was able to ride a lot of incredible horses from Connecticut to California. Now I'm happy to be home again with Hershey, who is still excited to jump anything he is pointed towards even as a senior! I'm hoping to ease him into retirement eventually, butnow we're enjoying braving the world outside of the show arena and enjoying every new adventure. Jenna as a SmartPaker: As part of SmartPak's world-class Customer Care team, I am privileged to work with our awesome customers each and every day. I help with orders, product questions, and (my favorite) supplement consultations. Whatever you need, I'm your girl! I'm proud to dedicate myself day in and day out to supporting healthy horses and happy riders. All about Hershey: Hershey, also known as Death by Chocolate, is a dark bay 1997 Dutch Warmblood gelding. He has a crooked stripe, one back sock, and a puppy-dog personality. I found him in New Jersey when he was 7 and I was 14, and promptly fell off and broke my collar bone after bringing him home on trial. Whoops! Over a decade later he's the love of my life (don't tell my boyfriend!). Other than our first little misunderstanding, he's never spooked, bucked, or bolted, and he's jumped every single obstacle I've pointed him at. He was even leased out to little girls while I was in college and taught them how to jump with infinite patience. Now that I've graduated, I'm trying to teach him how to enjoy semi-retirement, although he certainly doesn't look or act his age. He also loves peppermints and carrots, and has a very accurate nose that tells him when you have an extra in your pocket.
Viviane ♥'s Cloud Dancer Casimo
SmartPaker: Viviane from Marketing Horse: Cloud Dancer Casimo "Casi", German Riding Pony Gelding Viviane as a rider: My life with horses started in France, where I would sit on a pony during our Sunday family trail walks starting at the age of three. When we moved to Germany when I was seven, I started with vaulting and then later took lessons on school horses. Since then I've acquired my German bronze and silver medal to compete in dressage and jumping, spent several summers working at hunter barns in the US, competed in national competitions as a college student in Germany, and rode at an international dressage sales barn in Frankfurt, Germany. After a riding break due to an accident, I decided to stick to dressage and working with horses from the ground. When I moved to the U.S. in 2014, I was fortunate enough to find a dressage barn where I could again ride different horses up to Prix St George level and compete at 4th level. I also give dressage lessons and do training rides on several different horses. Viviane as a SmartPaker: I am very lucky to be able to combine my lifelong passion with horses with my career in marketing. I am a Marketing Coordinator for Customer Retention & ColiCare as part of the fantastic Brand & Customer Experience Marketing Team. Every day we are working hard and smart to keep our customers happy and their horses healthy! All about Cloud Dancer Casimo: Casi is a 15hh German Riding Pony born in 2010. He was shipped up to Boston from Germany in May 2017. He is the sweetest soul, loves to snuggle, and tries to do everything right for his rider. Even though he is only 15hh tall, he has a presence to himself under the rider that makes him look like one of the big warmbloods around him in the dressage ring, but with a very cute pony face and the wildest Welsh forelock around. Casi is very ambitious and truly a dancer in the dressage ring working hard to get up the levels, but we also love our morning trots over the fields waking up turkeys and deer on the way to the dressage ring.
Stefanie ♥'s Solara
SmartPaker: Stefanie from Customer Care Horse: Solara, 2006 Quarter Horse mare Stefanie as a rider: I was that horse crazy little girl that got her start checking out every single horse-related book at my school and public library, moved on to doing every presentation or paper I could on horses, and finally drove my parents crazy enough to cave and get me my first horse at 8 years old. I was lucky enough to have two very supportive parents that totally immersed themselves, my little sister, and me into the horse world and never thought twice about it. I started out in 4-H and moved on to open and breed shows. I went to college at West Texas A& M University, where I was so lucky to ride on their IHSA team and where I also got my first real taste of my of horse judging. I've done a little bit of everything over the years but truly love the AQHA all around events best. Stefanie as a SmartPaker: I often have to pinch myself to make sure that I'm not imagining this amazing job that I call mine. I started out at SmartPak back in 2008 on our Customer Care Team and have gotten so many amazing opportunities over the years to try my hand at lots of exciting things. All of those things have lead me to where I am today which is honestly what I would consider my dream job - how cool, right? I am our Customer Care Team's Quality Assurance Team Leader. In a nutshell, that means that I get to coach our team of legendary sales folks on how to keep getting better at helping all of you! All about Solara: Solara has been perfect for me. She's a super laid-back mare that I've been leasing since 2014 and honestly she couldn't have come into my life at a better time. She's such a cool horse and has some pretty awesome "buttons" that she loves showing off. We are just having fun together and getting her polished up in hopes that we may do some light competing in the future.
Kelcie ♥'s Quest
SmartPaker: Kelcie from Marketing Horse: Quest, Hanoverian mare Kelcie as a rider: I took my first riding lesson at summer camp when I was 10 years old and, needless to say, I never looked back. I've always loved the hunter/jumper world, but I've also been lucky enough to have a few years of training in dressage as well. I actively competed throughout high school and spent every waking moment I could at the barn - yes, I was that girl. To be honest, the college years were no different - throughout the week I would spend my time riding for class, then spent nights and weekends as an active member of the Johnson & Wales IHSA team. To this day, I am still an active competitor in the hunter ring. Kelcie as a SmartPaker: As a member of SmartPak's business development team, I spend my days providing support for various projects, from emails to trade shows. My favorite aspect of the job, however, is helping to develop our press releases, and working with various industry publications to help get the word out about all of the awesome new and exciting products that we carry. All about Quest: Quest is a 2008 Hanoverian mare. I bought her in 2015 and from the minute I got her, she quickly stole my heart. Quest came to me as a younger, green horse, and was my first attempt at training a young project horse. We quickly learned her favorite thing to do is jump, and that her heart truly belongs in the show ring. She will for sure capture anyone's attention with her cute brown eyes and her sweet (but sometimes sassy) personality.
Kimberly ♥'s Lovey
SmartPaker: Kimberly from Accounting Horse: Lovey, Quarter Horse cross mare Kimberly as a rider: I come from an avid animal loving family. We have always had dogs growing up and I loved admiring horses from a far. When my sister and I were young we were so excited when my mom signed us up for summer camp of horseback riding! Little did she knew how much our passion would grow. Inevitably we started taking lessons and competing which eventually led to owning our horses. I grew up competing in hunter/jumper shows. I have not competed much since college. Now I am riding an adorable Quarter horse pony and we are both going to get back into the show ring together! Kimberly as a SmartPaker: I cannot believe how lucky I am to have found a job that is a perfect blend of my passion for horses and my knowledge of accounting and finance. Well here I am, working as an accounting coordinator for SmartPak. In the accounting department, I'm part of a team that makes sure all the bills get paid so that we can continue to provide all of the wonderful products we have for our equine loving customers. All about Lovey: Her name pretty much describes it all. This pony will melt your heart with all of her affection. If she had it her way, her day would consist of eating, snuggling, grooming, napping, and some more snuggling. She's also the social butterfly of the barn. If there is a group of people standing around chatting, she would very much like to be part of that group, even though she cannot actively partake in the conversation. Aside from all of her socializing, she knows when she has to work. I have just started introducing jumps to her and she is more than willing and seems to really be enjoying herself! I am very excited to continue my journey with this incredibly lovable and intelligent pony!
Mary ♥'s Fabian
SmartPaker: Mary from Quality Assurance Horse: Fabian, 2007 RPSI gelding Mary as a rider: I drove everyone crazy talking about horses as a child. I got my first horse at the age of 10 and learned to ride bareback with a halter and lead rope as a bridle. My tough little Appaloosa mare had no fear so I learned to just hang on and go for it. We gallivanted all over the small farming community I grew up in and took full advantage of dirt roads and old logging trails to go exploring. I spent every minute I could on the back of horse until I went to college and it was all for fun. No horse shows, lessons or ribbons for us – just open fields for galloping, logs to jump, and a pond for swimming. It wasn't until my 30's that I started taking lessonsfinally got to fulfill a childhood dream of becoming an eventer (I may have watched International Velvet as a child one too many times). Mary as a SmartPaker: I'm the Quality Assurance Manager at SmartPak. In this role I provide the oversight that makes sure all our systems and processes are doing their job to ensure everything about your SmartPak is living up to our commitment of happy riders and healthy horses. It's pretty much a dream job for me because I get to combine my degree in Animal Science with knowledge from my past careers with the U.S. Food & Drug Administration and the pharmaceutical industry. All about Fabian: Fahhhhbulous Fabian is a 2007 RPSI (Dutch x Hanoverian) gelding. He's a big fancy warmblood with the personality of a Labrador, obsessive licking included. He's a great partner and we are having a blast working our way up the levels in eventing.
Cora ♥'s Braveheart
SmartPaker: Cora from Customer Care Horse: Braveheart, Canadian Sport Horse gelding Cora as a rider: I began riding at the age of 8 years old. My first horse was a Thoroughbred/Quarter Horse cross named Murphy and we did local jumper shows until I left for college. After college I decide that it was time to get back in the saddle again and I purchased a 10 month old Canadian Sport Horse named Braveheart that I broke and trained to be an eventer. Currently we compete at the recognized level as a member of the USEA and we travel all over Area 1 during the show season. Cora as a SmartPaker: I am a Product Specialist and love talking to all of our wonderful customers. My favorite aspect of my role is helping our customers select the appropriate supplements for their horses. There is nothing better than knowing that I have contributed to all of the happy riders and healthy horses that are our valued customers. All about Braveheart: Braveheart was born in Canada in April of 2002 and I purchased him in Vermont when he was ten months old. He is 16.1 hands tall, all personality, very affectionate, and quite the class clown. Braveheart loves his job as an eventer and this year our goal is to continue to compete successfully at the training level, a move up that has been a welcome challenge.
Brett ♥'s Zoey
SmartPaker: Brett from Customer Care Dog: Zoey, Yorkshire Terrier Brett as a "Makeup Geek": I love all things makeup. I fell in love with this creative outlet during my wedding when I had my makeup professionally done. It has become a very large extracurricular activity for me – ranging from traveling to Makeup Tradeshows, following beauty guru's on YouTube, attending Store Grand Openings and of course learning and understanding different looks that go with different eye shapes and skin tones. I am always trying to perfect my skills. I absolutely love it – and have really enjoyed exploring the creative side of myself. I have made a lot of friends who have the same passion – and weekly trips to Sephora and Ulta help to keep me in the know on the latest trends and products released to the market. Brett as a SmartPaker: My role here in the SmartPak family is Project Team Lead. I am responsible for being the liaison between our IT team and Customer Care, making sure our representatives have the latest and up to date equipment to support our amazing customers! I'm also a part of the large projects that go on year round to help to make SmartPak the innovative company we are today! All about Zoey: Zoey is a 5 lb. Yorkshire Terrier – who will be 9 years old this year, and … she is the love of my life! (Don't tell my husband). Zoey is just magical, she has a very large personality and truly believes she is a goddess that makes all my dreams come true – and she would be right! She is a busy girl, working with her Momma every day – but I couldn't have asked for a better companion!
Adriana ♥'s Finley
SmartPaker: Adriana from Quality Assurance Horse: Finley, 2008 Belgian/Morgan gelding Adriana as a rider: I started riding at 10 years old after a not-so-successful stint in dance lessons. I've always ridden dressage - for my type A personality, it presents a unique challenge of perfection vs. excellence. Over the years, I have really grown to appreciate the difference between the two and am constantly in search of the somewhat elusive balance between them. I competed during college on the UNH IDA team which was its own interesting challenge. I completed my Bronze medal at the end of 2013 with my previous long-term lease partner, Faith Hill (another Belgian Cross), and just finished up her Third Level Horse Performance Award the beginning of 2015. Adriana as a SmartPaker: I am a Quality Assurance Specialist here at SmartPak, which means I spend my days helping make sure that everything in your horse's SmartPaks lives up to our standards. I feel very lucky to be able to combine my science background and expertise with my love of horses! All about Finley: Finley is a Belgian/Morgan chestnut gelding. He has a super sweet personality and loves people and other horses. I really love working with him and am looking forward to bringing him up the levels of dressage!
Danielle ♥'s Indy and Loki
SmartPaker: Danielle from Marketing Horse: Indy, Dutch Warmblood and Loki, Dutch Warmblood Danielle as a rider: I started riding when I was four years old and was instantly hooked. I got my first pony, Belle, when I was nine years old, and then got Indy when I was 12. While I was still a junior, I competed Indy in both the junior hunters and the big equitation. The hunters (especially the derbies) have always been my favorite, but I have dabbled in the jumper and equitation rings. In college, I competed in the IHSA on the Stonehill College Equestrian Team in the open division, and I loved getting to ride all the different kinds of horses! Danielle as a SmartPaker: As part of the Brand and Customer Experience Marketing Team, I get to help work on fun ways to get potential customers excited about SmartPak and all we have to offer! My favorite part of working at SmartPak is that I get to combine my passion for horses with my love for marketing. All about Indy: Indy is my very special, once-in-a-lifetime horse, and I am so very lucky to call him mine. He's a 1999 Dutch Warmblood and we've been together since he was six. We started in the 2'6" baby green hunters and moved all the way up to the 4'3" international hunter derbies. He has the biggest personality and absolutely loves attention, and anyone who knows me knows just how obsessed I am with him! All about Loki: Loki is a 2013 Dutch Warmblood. I got him as a three-year-old who had only been under saddle for a couple weeks. In just a short amount of time, we’ve successfully gone from barely being able to steer all the way to jumping! I’ve never had a horse quite this young, so it’s been an incredible learning experience for the both of us and I look forward to where we will go together. He has such a sweet and laid-back personality, he’s just the best-behaved baby!
Mandy ♥'s Horses
SmartPaker: Mandy from Marketing Mandy as a rider: When I was three years old, my parents bought my oldest sister a horse. I immediately began tagging along during trips to the barn and I haven't stopped spending my free time in the company of horses since! I was lucky enough to get my own horse, an Appaloosa gelding named Marty, when I was fifteen. Marty did it all and we competed on the Appaloosa circuit in everything from hunter under saddle to barrel racing. In college I was captain of the UMass Amherst Polo Team while also taking dressage and jumping lessons. During this time, I realized the jumper ring is where my heart lies! I now split the majority of my time training in dressage to improve my flat work so that I can be as efficient as possible when training over fences. Mandy as a SmartPaker: As part of SmartPak's Marketing Team, I have one of the greatest jobs in the world. I get to combine my passion for marketing with my love of horses to help bring the best solutions to our customers. I also get to dream up awesome promotions designed to help make horses healthy and riders happy!
Al ♥'s Freckles
SmartPaker: Al from Creative Horse: Freckles, Appaloosa gelding Al as a rider: I fell in love with all things horses at eight years old. I started out taking weekly lessons and joining a 4H horse club, and it was soon clear that riding was something that was going stick with me for life. I was a working student through high school and was lucky enough to have the opportunity to ride lots of different horses at a few different barns. When I was 17, I bought my favorite horse Freckles, who I had been leasing for a few years. I got into IEA and then IHSA during college, and while I enjoyed my time in the hunt seat ring, now you'll find me focusing on dressage! Al as a SmartPaker: As part of the Creative Team at SmartPak, I get to combine my passion for both horses and graphic design, an absolute dream job for me! More specifically, I get to design all things web and email related. I love working hard with the team to deliver SmartPak's latest news and great sales into horse owners' inboxes! All about Freckles: QAR Skip's Son, aka Freckles, is a 1997 registered Appaloosa gelding. We've been a pair since 2007 and had the chance to grow up together. My parents told me I could have a horse the day I could buy my own, so I saved every penny I could and bought him in 2011! Freckles is a very nervous and anxious horse so we enjoy trying new things and tackling adventures at our own pace. Freckles has the goofiest personality, will do absolutely anything for a treat, and is my once-in-a-lifetime horse!
Nancy ♥'s Arizona
SmartPaker: Nancy from Returns Horse: Arizona, Quarter Horse Gelding Nancy as a rider: I'm pretty sure I was born horse obsessed, but I didn't begin taking lessons until I was nine. I started out in hunt seat, then dabbled between jumping and basic dressage, and then saddle seat years later. After a trip to a dude ranch in Upstate NY (that I later worked at!), I fell in love with western, which fueled my love of reining. I'm a licensed instructor, have been a barn manager and a vet tech, and spent my younger years teaching at a summer camp and a therapeutic riding center, but being a wrangler at a ranch with 115 horses was definitely one of the big highlights of my equine career. I've shown at the local level and love competitive trail, but had semi-retired along with my aged equines the last several years, mostly just spending time at the barn with them. The recent loss of my beloved pony, Curley, has prompted me to get out of the barn and go back to my roots, jumping back into the adventure that is the horse world! Nancy as a SmartPaker: As part of the Returns team, I primarily work on helping customers at a different level than the front lines. When customers send items back that they no longer need, my job is to make sure they receive what they are looking for, as timely as possible. I enjoy helping customers in this way and each day is a chance to learn and grow. I love being a part of this great company! All about Arizona: Z was one of my wrangler horses at the ranch, though I met him years before that when I was a guest. Our first meeting didn't go so well, but he soon taught me that first impressions aren't always the ones that matter. He was my go-to horse there because he was always so calm and laid back, and could handle any situation fearlessly. He's still that way. When the opportunity arose to take him home with me, I jumped at the chance and haven't looked back since. He's a total marshmallow (though he likes to pretend he isn't!) and is enjoying retirement – as long as he gets to still go on the trails occasionally!
Caitlin ♥'s Starfire
SmartPaker: Caitlin from Customer Care Horse: Starfire, 1989 Morgan mare Caitlin as a rider: I’ve been riding since the age of six, originally in English pleasure, 4-H, trail riding, and jumping. Today, I ride and compete in dressage. In college, I started the dressage club and a IDA team, which I continue my passion with USDF and other dressage shows. Aside from competing, I enjoy volunteering at events, participating in clinics, riding instruction, and practicing equine sports massage therapy. Caitlin as a SmartPaker: As a hardworking and determined member of the Customer Care Team, it’s my job to provide horse and riders with information and resources to discover the right supplements or shed light on tack, equipment, and supply items that are cohesive with your current program. In my opinion, it goes back to our mission statement of supporting healthy horses and happy riders - and best of all, I get you because I am you! All about Starfire: Starfire is a 1989 Morgan horse mare. She was diagnosed with Cushing’s disease at the age of 14 and through several years of trying to accomplish some balance, I discovered it was the simple changes that made the greatest difference in our management system. Her purpose in life is to make people happy. Her nickname is "Star" for short, but her show name is "Commanding Prospect." We are currently enjoying retirement life in the green mountains of Vermont. When my uncle past away in my early childhood, Starfire came into my family’s life and we love to tell everyone she is family.
Katrina ♥'s Arielle
SmartPaker: Katrina from Marketing Horse: Arielle, Welsh Pony Katrina as a rider: I started riding when I was five and did a little bit of everything until I was 14, which is when I started riding and showing competitively on the AQHA circuit. I showed my AQHA/PHBA gelding, DJ, in halter, showmanship, hunter under saddle, hunt seat equitation, hunter hack, equitation over fences, working hunter, and horsemanship. Recently, my focus has been on my young daughter and helping her learn to ride. We bought a Welsh pony for her to ride in lead line hopefully up through walk/trot and maybe even low-level hunters! Katrina as a SmartPaker: Here at SmartPak, I work with the Marketing Team to help manage all of their projects. It can be a little like herding cats, but it’s worth it to see our emails and other projects come to life and support healthy horses and happy riders! All about Arielle: Arielle is a 2011 bay Welsh Pony. We’ve had her since the summer of 2017 and she has been a wonderful pony for my daughter to learn on. She is very patient and she has not only learned her job quickly, but she’s learned it well!
Carolyn ♥'s Jib
SmartPaker: Carolyn from Merchandising Dog: Jib, Golden Retriever Carolyn as a dog trainer: I have been competing with my dogs in the upper levels of obedience since 2005. Going to school with my first dog just so he would behave turned into a passion and hobby. I also teach pet classes at a local training facility and enjoy seeing the relationship between a pet dog and their human evolve into something great! Carolyn as a SmartPaker: As the Sr. Buyer for all things related to horse health (from supplements to\ treats to first aid to fly spray), I get to make sure that we are carrying the products that our customers want and need to help keep their horses healthy. To make sure we have what you need for your equine partner I travel to tradeshows, meet with vendors, review inquiries from our awesome customers and work with our in-house Health Merchandising team. It’s so fun and it’s so rewarding! All about Jib: Jib is my current Golden Retriever in training. He hails from Old Lyme, CT so it was only natural his call name be something nautical-related. The expression on his face is a constant smile and it is infectious. You just can’t help smiling when he is smiling!
Jamie ♥'s Em
SmartPaker: Jamie from Customer Care Horse: Em, Morgan mare Jamie as a rider: I started riding when I was very young and ended up being a jack of all trades. I started off riding dressage, and then switched to hunters when I was in high school. When I went to college, I started jumping, and after college, I made the transition to showing Morgan Hunters and Saddleseat. Jamie as a SmartPaker: I started working on the Customer Care Team at SmartPak last year, answering the phones and helping customers get the awesome tack, equipment, and supplements that they need! I am now a Project Coordinator and help out our Customer Care team on the back end, working closely with our Returns Department and Production Team. All about Em: Em is a registered Morgan Horse who just turned 18 years old. She started her training as a Saddleseat Equitation horse, but since I’ve had her, we’ve transitioned to hunters. Em also learned how to drive and loves the trails!
Taylor ♥'s Horses
SmartPaker: Taylor from Customer Care Taylor as a rider: I started riding horse when I was about eight years old. I had finally convinced my parents to let me take weekly lessons and have been in love with horses ever since! I had been consistently riding in my weekly lessons until I to college. When I started college, I got to take riding lessons as a class and also joined the riding team! I currently do not have my own horse, but I try to ride my friends’ horses whenever I can! Taylor as a SmartPaker: I have been a part of the awesome Customer Care Team since February 2017, and I get to talk to our great customers every day and help them keep their horses healthy and happy! One of my favorite parts about being on this team is getting to hear great stories from customers about their horses and their experiences!