ABOUT TRUE NORTH STABLES
True North Stables is a full-service hunter/jumper training program, dedicated to horsemanship and to providing top-class riding and training services to both horse and rider. Led by Caitlyn Shiels and with bases in Illinois and Florida, True North Stables offers highly-individualized instruction, horse acquisition and sales assistance, and the opportunity to excel in the sport and in nationwide competition.
Boarding your horse with True North is a comprehensive and inclusive experience that includes daily turnout, and a set schedule of care tailored to your horses, with wellness activities ranging from acupuncture and equine massage therapy to fitness routines to keep your horses feeling strong and happy. With regular attention from experts including farrier and veterinarian, as well as a custom created feed program pairing your horse with the right supplements to make for a healthy horse inside and out, True North takes every inch of your horses's well being seriously. We treat your horses as if they were our own, and provide you with peace of mind knowing they are always in knowledgable, kind, and caring hands.
We offer hunter, jumper and equitation training, and provide lessons from beginner to advanced. Whether you are just beginning your equestrian journey or you have serious competitive goals you'd like to achieve, we work with you and your horse to reach those goals.
about caitlyn Shiels
Caitlyn Shiels was born and raised in Sheffield, Massachusetts, where she began riding at the age of eight. As a junior, Shiels began commuting to New York to train with Andre Dignelli at Heritage Farm, and under his tutelage, she finished in the top ten of each of the major American equitation finals.
In 2004, Shiels claimed both the team and individual gold medals at the North American Junior and Young Rider Championships (NAJYRC) and took the next steps to launching her career as a professional trainer and rider. In the coming years, Shiels worked alongside and apprenticed with Jonathan and Christine McCrea, Ken and Emily Smith, McLain Ward, and others, before joining the team at Canterbury Farm in 2013. In her first year working alongside Greg Franklin at the Chicago, IL, based hunter/jumper facility, Shiels was recognized by Horse & Style magazine as one of the top five assistant trainers of the year.
While at Canterbury Farm, Shiels competed successfully in both the jumper and hunter rings aboard client horses and her own young jumper and grand prix mount, Cavalier II. In 2016, following numerous championships throughout the year, Shiels was named the World Champion Hunter Rider (WCHR) Midwest Region Developing Rider champion, and she finished in the top eight of the WCHR Developing Pro Challenge at the Capital Challenge Horse Show.
In 2017, Shiels set her sights on competing in her first United States Hunter Jumper Association (USHJA) International Hunter Derby Championships aboard Cassius, a young hunter project owned by Michelle Durpetti. Together, Shiels and Cassius finished in the top ten of numerous USHJA International Hunter Derby events before ultimately fulfilling the goal of competing successfully at the USHJA International Hunter Derby Championships in Kentucky. With Cassius, Shiels also qualified for the High Performance Hunters at the Pennsylvania National Horse Show, the Washington International Horse Show, and the CP National Horse Show, and Shiels improved on her 2016 performance in the Developing Pro Challenge at Capital Challenge, this time finishing in fourth. Simultaneously, Shiels continued to successfully show and bring along her own Cavalier II and other sales and client horses.
Today, Shiels is thankful for the endless support of her sponsors including Butet, Éce Equestrian Co., EquiFit, inc., Hayward Sportswear Ltd., O3 Animal Health, ReitenRight Equestrian Footing, Samshield, and Tucci, and for the opportunity to bring her years of experience and industry expertise to her own True North Stables, based in Illinois and Florida.