Rugby putting up with me at a Phillip Dutton clinic

Surprise! I never win anything, but I was quite gratified and surprised to win the SmartPak April Blogger’s $200 Shopping Spree! This is a very generous award and I’m very grateful to SmartPak for sponsoring it. Thanks!

I remember when SmartPak first began offering supplements in their  individual serving packs, customized for your horse on a daily basis. It was a crazy good idea and it caught on quickly. You no longer had to mess with filling the plastic baggies, and hoping the barn help would dump it in your horse’s feed bucket before the mice got it. It didn’t take long for top riders on the road all the time to find out about SmartPaks — they were the BOMB for traveling with horses who needed supplements fed regularly. No more searching for the plastic measuring cup (where did the dog find THAT chew toy?) or finding the bucket of powder dumped all over your horse’s exercise boots in the bottom of the trunk.

Over the years, SmartPak has positioned themselves as a premier equestrian supplier and added many excellent lines of products to their retail offerings. When the economy took a turn, SmartPak innovated, and began consolidating shipping supplement packs to single barns, coordinating multiple horses’ needs with one shipment — boy, did that make life easier for us that board horses!

The barn program met with success, they also began helping to ship needed stable items along with supplements — “I’m out of poultice, can you ship me a bucket with the SmartPaks this month?”, and “Help – we’re totally out of wash sponges and shampoo, please throw some in our barn’s shipment box this month!” Along the way, customer service, the old-fashioned kind, became sort of a mark of pride, I think.

I have ordered several times from SmartPak over the years and can honestly say I have always had absolutely first-class customer service. They make you feel like you are just as important as Boyd Martin, Tuny Page, Louise Serio, or any other top level champion rider that they generously sponsor. So, can you tell I am thrilled to win any SmartPak prize! OK, so on to the shopping spree!

Here’s the deal, guys: I need your help. Let’s play the HJU version of “The Price Is Right”! I have $200 to spend on Rugby, my grey 15-year-old OTTB, and I want you guys to give me a hand! Take a look at my wish list, and put together your own list for Rugby. It has to total pretty close to $200. Ok, go:

First, I want to give Rugby every chance this year to get safely and soundly to a few events. This is the only MUST-HAVE on your list, and I’m going to order two months’ worth to start. (Rug is a picky eater so the pellets might be of help, and I really like the comparison chart Smartpak provided in their catalog for this product. It looks like it has all that he needs.) Everything else — you decide!

  • Wood Back Body Brush with Horsehair bristles – he needs a new brush and likes soft ones. This looks super – $14.95
  • Quick Silver Shampoo – He’s grey – nuff said! – $7.95
  • Lettia CoolMax girth cover – this looks like a great idea to prevent chafing on sweaty rides – $21.95 (we would need the white A/P model)
  • Competition pinny – another must-have, lots of events are using these and this is the best price around – $13.95
  • Sore No More liniment – the best stuff around and doesn’t cause breakouts or skin problems – 16oz sprayer, $17.95
  • Repel-Xp concentrate – Who among us does not need fly spray? That’s what I thought. 16oz concentrate – $14.95

What should I buy? —> browse the SmartPak website here. Post a comment below to help me choose items for Rugby, without going over $200. Ready, set, shop!