Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Equine Affaire 2013

On Thursday, Maddy and I ventured to West Springfield, MA for Equine Affaire. The only item on my agenda for the day was to attend a 2 hour marketing discussion for SmartPak that I had signed up for (not gonna lie, I was totally hoping we'd get free stuff and that's the only reason I agreed to spend two precious hours of my one day at EA talking to SP about their marketing), but we had time before the SP thing to watch a bit of the versatility.

This little mare was so cool and tried very hard!

After watching that for a while, we zipped through a portion of the vendors and then headed to the SmartPak meeting. It was more or less a brainstorming session for them to ask us, the customer, about some of their products and their ideas for upcoming projects. I took the opportunity to tell them things I really liked about their program, and things I thought totally sucked. They asked questions about their products, including blankets, breeches, and what brands we preferred. The great part about SmartPak is that they actually LISTEN to their customers, which is why I didn't really mind spending the time to talk to them. I didn't worry that my time and feedback was going to be wasted on a company that didn't care what the customers wanted.

Some of the feedback I gave them included asking them to put some kind of measuring chart on blankets so we know not only how big the blanket measures, but how it fits. Is it REALLY a 78, or is it an 81 with a tag that says 78 (Rambo/WeatherBeeta, anyone?). Will it fit a horse with a thick neck? Big hip? Short back? Simply measuring from the chest to the butt is not a all-encompassing measurement and I hate getting a blanket that does not fit right! I suggested getting some horsey models that represent some of the body types out there, like tall/lean TB, stocky QH, thick pony, draft, draft cross, Arabian, etc, giving their measurements, and giving examples of brands and models of blankets that work well for that particular horse. That would make it much easier to compare your own horse to the horsey models and figure out which blanket to buy.

The group in the room was quite diverse, with riders from all disciplines represented, including Western riders. At the end of the discussion we all got $50 gift cards to SmartPak and we were thrilled!!! Maddy and I beelined it down to the SmartPak booth and she bought Brantley a beautiful new cooler that will have his name embroidered on it. I didn't see anything I really needed or wanted so I saved mine.

We spent the rest of the day watching a few clinics and looking at the rest of the vendor booths. I bought a sweet padded leather bracelet with Honolulu engraved on it. I have wanted one for so long but couldn't justify spending $30+ on one. A booth at EA had them for $15 so I bought one and am so excited to finally be wearing it! It has pink leather padding and looks very sharp.

trying to take a photo of your own hand is totally awkward.

I also got Cairo's jacket embroidered with her name and an image of a Ridgeback on it. It looks so cute!

modeling it during our walk on Friday
All in all it was a great day!


  1. As someone who works in communications/marketing I absolutely LOVE all that SmartPak does to really try to make things better -- they never seem to settle and constantly work to improve. I love that!!

  2. Totally agree on the blanket thing. I just had that experience where I measured, ordered the blanket and am now returning the blanket because though my pony measures at 75, his withers make him a 78.

    1. Hopefully they will introduce that type of a guide. I think a lot of people would take advantage of it.

  3. I love the leather bracelet! :)

  4. Cute bracelet! I love the EA in Ohio, it is so much fun! Good ideas about the blanketing, I hope they implement it.


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