When Your Job's A Lifestyle, Life Gets Lost In The Shuffle

Oct 2, 2013 - 10:09 PM
Sinead Halpin and her new sister-in-law, Rebecca Von Schweinitz, a former working student for Rebecca Howard, managed to not think about horses for an hour during the wedding ceremony and enjoy a rare brush with "normal life."

So blogging seems to be my thing lately…. Well actually, long car trips seem to be my thing, and I’ve learned that as long as my computer is well charged, writing passes the time nicely… in the passenger seat. It would be hazardous to drive and type…

I’m lucky that I have a few people in my life that keep me on task. I get “friendly reminders” often—to write a blog or an article, to call my bank or my dad, to go to the dentist. All of those “life things” that you don’t end up getting to because the job of a professional rider is not just a job, it is a lifestyle. So if your job is your lifestyle, and that lifestyle doesn’t allow time for “life things,” we run into some issues… That was a mouthful.

So anyway, the one thing we do is spend a lot of time on the road, so I’m starting to take advantage of that time and allowing “Jesus to take the wheel” (or actually just Megan).

It’s Monday night as I type this, and I’m actually sitting alone at a restaurant in Frederick, Md., cautiously ordering a salad because one of my “life things” got in the way of my plans!

My brother got married this past weekend, and although I couldn’t believe he planned his wedding the same weekend as the AECs, it was worth it.

My big brother married “Little Rebecca.” She got this name beccause she was a working student for Rebecca Howard. I met Little Rebecca when she was 8 and came to take riding lessons at our farm in South Carolina. Fast forward 17 years, and she is now my sister, which is wild and awesome at the same time. My brother is not horsey. Well he is, I guess, by default, but until he met and fell in love with Rebecca he was pretty sure everything that was wrong with the world was somehow because of a horse.

The wedding was beautiful, but it is amazing how emotional one gets at a wedding. The whole ceremony was people (me and the bridesmaids) staring at the ceiling praying (which I guess is normal in church) to not start flat-out bawling during the vows. It really was a beautiful thing to watch two people have their whole community of friends and loved ones surround them while they not only acknowledge but embrace the intensity of their love for each other… It is very special. I think for almost a whole hour I didn’t think about a horse… Until I walked out of the church and my heels started aerating the ground, and I instinctually thought how good that would be for the footing… What?!

Anyway, back to sitting alone in Frederick.

So Sunday after a brunch and goodbye to the family, Tik and I headed to Middleburg, Va., which happens to be halfway home to New Jersey from North Carolina. Tik and I met with a few friends for dinner. The restaurant was over the top impressive, other than the actual food. When I woke up Monday morning and jumped in the car with Tik, I made it about 30 minutes before my tendency to be car sick, combined with a not-so-great meal, had us pulled over with me dry heaving on the side of the highway (but I’m not going to go into too much detail).

We made it as far as Frederick, Md., with three stops, and I realized I was not going to make it the next three hours. Tik needed to be at work for the afternoon, and I was meant to ride three horses at my barn… I saw no way this was possible!!

So we found the closest Comfort Inn, and I checked in at 11 a.m. Tik carried on home, and I curled up on the bed not to move until about an hour ago (it’s 8:30 p.m. as I write this). Tik drove back to New Jersey to work and is now on his way back here (another three hours) to pick me up and head home.

At times like this I realize two things… 1: I have the most amazing fiancée in the world, and 2: we really do live a crazy lifestyle (as if it took me this long to figure that out).

Life happens fast… In the past few days I gained a sister, nearly died of food poisoning, spent the day in and out of sleep watching Real Housewives of Miami, and now I am blogging for The Chronicle of the Horse.

This blog for me is an actually a blog, with no real fundamental point or debate. It’s just a life experience that has nothing specific to do with a horse—but is wholly unique to a life that has everything to do with horses.


P.S. Don’t eat the bolognese…

Sinead Halpin Equestrian



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