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Sinead Halpin

September 6, 2012

A Burghley Moment In Time

I walked around the cross-country warm-up trying to stay calm and focused. I felt at home on the familiar four legs that were carrying me, but there was a smell of nerves and of the unknown so thick you could almost see it sifting in and around the red and white flags.

July 6, 2012

Personal Pep Talks And Pushing Forward

Every morning when I wake up, the first thought that crosses my mind is: “I am not going to the Olympic Games.”

Then I start my daily pep talks (to myself), and normally by the time I reach the barn I can get a smile on my face. But it’s very difficult in my situation to keep growing as a person and accept the lessons that need to be learned.

June 25, 2012

Decisions That Determine Your Destiny… No Pressure

So it’s 2:00, and I’m sitting here looking out at the British countryside, trying to figure out a way to narrow down some of the experiences I’ve had since I last blogged. Somehow, after the whirlwind of the last few months, I find myself one week away from a competition that will decide if I get the opportunity to represent my country in the London 2012 Olympic Games… INTENSE!

March 6, 2012

Find Your Limits By Passing Them (Or Hitting A Tree)

“OK, I’m just running inside to take a shower. I’ll be out the door in 15 minutes!” I said to Rebecca Howard around 7:15 on Saturday evening. She and I were going to grab a quick dinner to vent/chat about life.

It had been a wild day for S.H.E. (Sinead Halpin Equestrian), with clients in town, five horses at Rocking Horse Horse Trials and eight others to be managed at home, Meg on crutches after a “conversation” with a jump standard, Baby Sarah trying to cope with stepping up to head girl, and me trying to keep it all running smoothly.

January 10, 2012

I’ll Have A No. 3 Please, With A Side Of Broccoli

About three months ago, I was walking down the grocery aisle with my über-healthy, vegetarian pentathlete boyfriend when he asked me, “If you knew that eating healthy and working out more would get you closer to an Olympic medal, would you start at least eating your greens?”

November 22, 2011

Ham Is Better Than Turkey, But Horses Are Better Than Any Food

People keep asking me what I’m doing for Thanksgiving. I keep asking, “When is Thanksgiving?”

This time of the year is about taking some time out from the event season to be a “real person.” I’ll be honest, I’d rather listen to Foster The People’s new tune than the Mariah Carey Christmas music that every grocery store, Starbucks and gas station parking lot is belting out.

October 27, 2011

The Ultimate Sports Fan

I went to a friend’s house the other night for dinner, and as I walked in, I realized by the way our host was decked out in team gear that we were actually there to watch a football game.

I’ve never quite understood how grown men and women get dressed up in team colors and get so involved to the point of literally a “game” ruining their day, week or even month. They have opinions on the players, the coach, they have notes on the venue and tabs on the weather, and they sometimes even know what’s been going on in the players’ personal lives.

September 28, 2011

Who's THAT Rider?

I assume the position: fully dressed for cross-country, sitting on the tack trunk, striking my crop at the grass, adjusting my helmet, fidgeting with my watch and eventually settling into a deep stare at nothing in particular.

Sarah, my working student, asks if I’m all right. She’s not yet been to a competition with me where I’m heading out over an advanced track, and she’s confused by my lack of normal confidence and chatter.

September 6, 2011

Behind The Scenes At Burghley—A Competitor’s View

I’ve timed it perfectly. I can get down to watch Michael Pollard’s dressage test in the riders’ tent at stabling and give myself exactly 25 minutes to get ready for my own dressage test. I already have my top hat and tails ready, and my breeches and shirt are in my bag, which is next to my spurs and boots.

I am literally congratulating myself on being so organized!

August 15, 2011

Bring On Burghley!

Well, we’ve been here a week, and I have to say it’s gone by so slowly and so quickly at the same time! Megan and I were driving home yesterday from Hartpury Horse Trials, and I turned down a horrible song on Radio 1 and asked, “Did we just do a three-star this weekend?” And she said, “Yup, actually this morning.” 

That’s one of the cool things about England—an hour down the road you can run a three-star with William Fox-Pitt, Andrew Nicholson, Bettina Hoy, Mark Todd, and a few Americans you know as well, and be home in time for an early dinner!

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