From Endurance to Dressage
Normally, if I don't have anything nice to say, I keep it to myself. That's really hard to do. I get just as irritated and ticked off as the next guy, but I've found that griping about it doesn't usually make anyone feel better. And believe it or not, that includes me.
In this particular instance, I mean no harm; I am just checking in with you to see what your experiences are. Over the past month, SmartPak, I company that I really like, has offered several items with free embroidery. I don't typically get stuff embroidered because I tend to keep junk forever and use it on the next horse. But, given that it was free embroidery on a fly mask, an item that barely lasts our never-ending summers, I decided to go a bit fancy.
I ordered both horses my regular Crusader fly mask. After several weeks of not receiving a shipping email, I checked online and saw that the order was being packaged. Okey-dokey. I checked again the next day and was dismayed to find that the order had vanished. I called customer service and was told that there had been some kind of glitch. I gave a frustrated sigh and had the woman just redo the order.
As I was paying bills and balancing my checkbook the next morning. I saw that the new charge was way off in price. I gave SmartPak another call and was told very apologetically that only one fly mask had been processed and sent to the embroiderer (my email confirmation listed both). I remained very polite on the phone, but I was seriously irritated!
How hard is it to get two fly masks embroidered and sent to my house?
Ultimately, I re-ordered Izzy's flymask without the embroidery and was assured it would go out with my Monday order. We'll see.
In the meantime, I had also taken SmartPak up on free embroidery on a dressage pad. I ordered another Union Hill Pad with Izzy's name.
When I asked about that order, I was assured that it was being processed and should be delivered soon. Again, we'll see.
I like SmartPak and have no intention of taking my regular business elsewhere, but I would like to know if getting stuff embroidered is usually this difficult. I have to say that I am disappointed that Izzy won't get the cute little stitching that I had planned for, but it is just a fly mask and it won't last long anyway. But still. Disappointed.
So tell me, where is the best place to get stuff personalized? Am I better off just taking my stuff to a local shop, or is there someplace that gets it right every time?
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
*** SCEC 10/15-16/22
2022 Completed …
(*) Tehachapi 5/22/22
(*) Tehachapi 7/24/22
(***) Tehachapi 8/28/22
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%:
Score 1: 62.115%