Join the Team! True North Stables Heads to New Illinois Location and Looks to Accept Limited Number of New Clients

March 22, 2018 - Zion, IL

Caitlyn Shiels, pictured teaching a lesson in Ocala, FL, will begin accepting additional students as she expands True North Stables.
Photo by Fine Art Horses
Michelle Durpetti and Cassius, pictured with Caitlyn Shiels (right), accepting the Amateur-Owner 36 and Over Hunter reserve championship during week two of the 2018 Winter Equestrian Festival.
Photo by Jump Media
Caitlyn Shiels competing aboard her own Cavalier II.
Photo by Jump Media

Accomplished professional rider and trainer Caitlyn Shiels launched her own True North Stables in January 2018, and now, following a successful winter circuit in Wellington and Ocala, FL, True North Stables will head north to a new location at Buena Vista Farm in Zion, IL, and will begin accepting new clients.

“I am looking forward to returning to Illinois and getting settled, and I am really excited to be accepting clients of all levels and with a wide range of goals within the hunters, jumpers and equitation,” said Shiels. “Having competed both as a junior and a professional in each, I can’t wait to begin helping people set and reach their riding and competitive goals” 

Having claimed top-ten finishes in all of the major American equitation finals as a junior under the tutelage of Andre Dignelli and Heritage Farm and having competed to great success in both the jumper and hunter rings as a professional, Shiels offers a wealth of knowledge and industry experience across all disciplines.

“I’m excited to work with riders who share the same hunger to not only compete, but also to learn more about horses and proper horsemanship and to really have fun with and get to enjoy this sport that I love,” said Shiels. “I would love to work with goal-oriented riders—whether that goal is the high junior/amateurs or the three-foot. I want to build a business surrounded by people who want to learn, want to compete, want to have fun, and really want to make those goals and dreams come true.”

Michelle Durpetti, one of True North Stables’ very first students, attested to seeing her goals come to fruition under Shiels’s tutelage.  

“Caitlyn’s approach to training is to develop confidence in both horse and rider so that they can reach their goals and have fun reaching them,” said Durpetti, who rode to consistent top finishes in both the 3’3” and 3’6” Amateur-Owner 36 and Over Hunters, including earning the 3’3” division reserve championship during week two of the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL.

“I admittedly struggle with anxiety, to the point where it’s kind of an anxiety disorder, and Caitlyn is someone who has put me in a program where it’s manageable. I’m able to really work past it in order to accomplish my goals,” continued Durpetti, who also started the winter season competing her own Serafina in the Low Adult Jumpers before winning the division championship during HITS V at HITS Ocala in Ocala, FL, and ultimately moving up to the High Adult Jumpers by the conclusion of the circuit.

“We really had a great winter,” added Shiels, who rode her own Cavalier II to top results in the 1.35m and 1.40m jumpers, including a win in the $2,500 1.35m Jumpers at the Winter Equestrian Festival (WEF) in Wellington, FL. Shiels also turned in numerous blue ribbon rides aboard O Hickstead’s Sun (Hickstead x Lord Z) in the Five-Year-Old Young Jumpers at HITS Ocala in Ocala, FL, for owner Ashland Stables. “We came down to Florida after the indoor show season with the goal of staying consistent and continuing to build confidence in both horses and riders, and we’re leaving having definitely done that!”

To join the team at True North Stables or to learn more about lesson and training opportunities, please contact Shiels at

For the most recent updates and photos, find True North Stables on Facebook and Instagram, or learn more at

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About True North Stables

Founded and led by Caitlyn Shiels, True North Stables offers horses and riders top-class hunter/jumper riding and training services. Following more than a decade of experience working with highly-regarded professionals including Greg Franklin, Jonathan and Christine McCrea, Ken and Emily Smith, and McLain Ward, Shiels launched True North Stables to cater to goal-oriented equestrians of all levels. With bases in Illinois and Florida, True North Stables provides the highly-individualized training and opportunities that allow both horse and rider to excel in the sport. Learn more about True North Stables online at