Merry Christmas from our herd to yours!
At McQuillan Equestrian, Advanced level event rider Sean McQuillan offers a range of services includi Kilfinnan Stables is home base for McQuillan Equestrian.
We offer an exceptional full service equine facility with a range of services including training, lessons, clinics, sales and boarding. We pride ourselves on our individualized, horse-first mentality and put great effort into maintaining the physical and mental well-being of our horses. Our premier facility located in Northern Virginia is ideally suited for the needs of all sport horse enthusiast
s! Known for his patience and communication skills, Sean has the ability to get the best out of each horse and rider combination. He mixes training and lesson philosophies from his years of experience and his Olympic-level teachers, creating a coaching style that is positive and effective. Sean has been riding at the Advanced level for over 15 years, with multiple top placings at International events, and selections for the U.S. Training list and the U.S. Developing Riders list. In addition to his personal riding successes, he has a wide-range of professional riding experiences from which to draw:
*Current Instructor & Trainer at Jacqueline Mars' Stonehall Farm
*Past Assistant Trainer to David O'Connor
*Has fox-hunted professionally with Orange County Hunt
*Continues to bring horses to the Advanced level of eventing, the Level 7 jumpers, as well as train horses for Young Event and Dressage Horse Championships
Sean enjoys teaching all levels of riders, from beginners to Intermediate-level competitors, and many of his students go on to qualify and compete at the AECs each year. He also has students competing successfully in the huner/jumper and dressage arenas, many earning top, year-end awards. Let Sean help you reach your full potential!
Merry Christmas from our herd to yours!
We are getting a bit busy and are looking for some additional barn help. Primarily with feeding and turnout AM and PM. Timing can be somewhat flexible. Must have experience and be reliable. Please message if you’re interested!
Tips to Balance Social Distancing & Your Equestrian Business Operations - Eventing Nation - Three-Day Eventing News, Results, Videos, and Commentary
In partnership with Event Clinics, we’re bringing you content to help you navigate these unprecedented times brought about by COVID-19. In this blog, Event Clinics’ Tara Swersie details ways to help your barn or business
I’m sorry it’s taken so long to get my next professional tip posted. The past few weeks have been...different for all of us ( understatement of all understatements!) I originally had several ideas I wanted to discuss in this post but as all of us are dealing with our new normal in staying safe, my original concepts seemed somewhat insignificant.
So instead, I thought I’d talk about one word that helped me overcome numerous serious injuries during my riding career and come out the other side better for it. The word’s Perspective.
One of the concepts I had to embrace in my numerous long and painful recoveries was my state of mind. The situation was what it was. It didn’t make a bit of difference how much I complained and vented at how unfair life was that I was dealing with such a bad injury. I was broken no matter what, so what was the point of getting upset and depressed about it. What I could control was my attitude. So I learned to use those forced breaks to reevaluate, not only my riding but my life. Were there things I really wanted to do or work on that in the rush of my career I felt I just didn’t have time for? It also gave me the time to really step back and realize how truly lucky I was to do what I love for a living with a wonderful family that meant the world to me. It also allowed me to look at my life from a different perspective, a larger picture, rather then just rushing around focusing on my day to day life.
With what is happening in the world today with Covid 19, it’s much larger and scarier, but as individuals the same word I believe applies. At least it does for me. This situation is what it is, so it’s on us to, in a safe way, make the most of the forced break from our normal lives. While I’m trying to apply the word Perspective to all aspects of my life, in this post I’ll keep it focused to myself as a professional rider.
It can be really easy in the world of horse sports to become so preoccupied on competitive results and accomplishments that we sometimes lose sight as to why we got into the horse world in the first place. At least for me, being around these amazing animals was reward enough as a kid. Going on a trail ride on a beautiful fall day as the leaves turned, the smell of chimney’s wafting in the cool air, your horse and you enjoying it together. This was everything. Coming from a non-horsey family, I didn’t even know enough to consider competitive goals. I didn’t view my horse or my experiences with them in terms of competitive goals. I just loved riding.
Now I’m certainly not saying this was a better view, but it was certainly a simpler, perhaps more pure enjoyment. With all of us competitive riders now having to take a step away from those goals for safety reasons, maybe it’s an opportunity. An opportunity for us to just love our horses and riding for the simple joy of it. To find our inner kid.
Stay safe and kick on.
Available now, McQuillan Equestrian has limited openings for full board!
Join us at Stonegate Stables in Aldie, VA. The facility boasts large and airy 12x12 stalls, safe turnout either individually or in small groups, medical paddocks, heated wash stall and large tack room w laundry facilities. Boarders have access to a 140x270 outdoor arena and a 100x200 indoor arena, both with great footing that is regularly maintained and viewing areas. Managers have over 35+ years of combined experience caring for sport and pleasure horses.
Lessons and training also available w Sean McQuillan. Sean has been helping students form great partnerships with their horses for over 20 years. He is well known for his patience, communication skills and the ability to get the best out of each horse/rider combination.
Kendra McQuillan is available onsite for Physiotherapy, equine massage, PEMF and laser therapy.
Boarding rates include feed, hay, blanketing and turnout. Additional packages are available for daily grooming, lessons and physio. We are happy to answer any questions you might have!
As some of you might have seen from the post I wrote a few days ago on my personal page 2019 was a trying year for us. Thankfully, due to the immense support of our owners, clients, sponsors and dear friends ( as well as a fair amount of hard work, persistence and positivity) all of us here at McQuillan Equestrian are excited to have 2020 be our best year yet of growth and improvement in all facets of life
On that note I will be giving professional tips/thoughts bi-monthly which I’ll kick off now.
With the vast amount of wonderful tips already out there on techniques and exercises I’m going to take a slightly different approach, at least for the 1st several posts. I’m going focus in on the relationship between horse and rider and my philosophies on the topic that will hopefully be of benefit to you and your own equine partner.
The pictures here are of my 3 daughters interacting with different horses in my barn. While I admit I’m a proud daddy and any opportunity I might have to post pics of Payton, Maddy and Brayleigh I’m going to take it but I’m actually including these for a different reason. What I’m trying to show is the commonality of the responses of these vastly different horses to them. Contentment, trust, serenity. That’s because children for the most part have not been weighed down yet by worry and baggage. They still are in awe of life and it’s magic and the horses sense it.
Being for the most part non-verbal communicators horses are tremendously empathetic. They’re extremely tuned in to the body language and intention of their rider. They are in essence their riders emotional mirror. Very rarely in a horse-rider partnership do you see a calm, confident rider ride a horse that becomes a basket case over the course of that partnership. Conversely you also rarely see a nervous, frantic person who’s horse grows in confidence and steadiness over the course of their careers together no matter how skilled and talented that rider might be. The horse and the rider get on the same page, for better or worse. It’s therefore so important that we have the emotional awareness and control to show the horse the traits we want them to mirror. Not to weigh them down with our baggage nor end up mirroring their own possible issues we’re trying to correct.
I always say people tend to ride like who they are. Your more likely to over ride to a jump or strongly correct a horse having an issue with its canter transitions for example if your a more strong, aggressive type of person in life then someone who is more shy and reserved. It really doesn’t matter what your temperament is, it’s more about the understanding of how your specific temperament effects your horse and their own unique personality. Everyone’s greatest strength is also their greatest weakness and vice versa. So just be aware when you ride that if your loud in life that you might be loud with your aids and if your quiet in life you might need to be more assertive with your horse when it’s needed.
And above all else, leave life’s baggage at the barn door and enjoy your horse...they’ll enjoy you back!
“It’s absolutely mind boggling if you think about it.
Your horse gets absolutely nothing out of being competitive for you. Not a darn thing. Of course horses are bred for specific jobs, or they’re bred to be athletic to a certain degree. However, horses don’t wake up thinking about chasing cans, or cows, or flying over jumps.
They have no idea how much money is added to the pot. They have no idea that this is a qualifier. They have no idea that this is the short go.
And DESPITE us... DESPITE our nerves, our flaws, our incorrect ques, our huge emotions, they get the job done to their very best ability. Even when we fail them by letting our emotions get in the way, they come back and they try again. For US. Whoa. Let that sink in. If only we could all be so understanding.
To think of an animal that is forgiving and flexible enough to put up with the repetition of practice, the intense nerves of the rider, the stress of hauling and still meet you at the gate for scratches is MIND. BLOWING.
If you haven’t done so lately. Thank your horse.
If you’re successful, thank the horses that put you there and made you. Thank the horses that gave everything they had for you simply because you ASKED them to.
If you’re still on the journey to success, thank the horses that made you fall in love with your sport and who have helped give you the confidence to want to learn more and be better.
We can never stop learning as horsemen and horsewomen, and by continuing our education every horse in our future will be better off.
Next time you head to the arena leave your ego at the door and thank your horse!”
Pic of my ISH 5 year old, Kearney ❤️
Lovely, confidence building, amateur friendly horse for sale. Solo, 2009 gelding Irish TB (Sire is Ramble on by High Scope..Irish. Dam is No Frost...TB). Super sweet tempered perfect all arounder. Quiet, brave and uncomplicated. Competed by a young girl and her father in eventing through N, competed in dressage and H/J competitions. Asking $25k
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Kelly over fences
Kelly with changes
Sale horse Kelly on the flat
McQuillan Equestrian proudly offers for sale Silver Lining "Kelly ", a 12yr old 16.1h grey TB gelding. Kelly is the epitome of a successful Jack of All Trades. This striking horse has excelled at every job asked of him. From the hunter rings in Ocala, to lower level eventing to pure dressage. All the while maintaining his sweet, kind temperament. While Kelly has a wonderful jump, where he really shines is with his flat work. His natural rhythm and balance along with easy going attitude make him a favorite with the judges. Kelly is ideally suited for a child or Adult Amateur looking for a sweet uncomplicated ride. Videos to be posted shortly. Reasonably priced. PM Sean for details
Rider Fitness with Allison Springer
“You have a responsibility for staying fit for your animal,” emphasized Allison Springer. Much like many other eventing professionals, Springer rides multiple horses at multiple levels ranging from Co
With this summer being as incredibly wet as it's been here in Virginia this year the bugs have been especially bad. Thanks to our Bucas full neck fly sheets though, our horses have been comfy and content all season long. I can't imagine coping this summer without them!
And they say eventers are crazy....
Happy Independence Day!!!
The Military Construction and Veterans Affairs Appropriations Act of 2018 included an amendment to increase Veterans Affairs’ Adaptive Sports Grant Program funding equine-assisted therapy.
United States Eventing Association - Volunteer Incentive Program
We are looking for more help for the Summer! Part time or full. Ideally swapping work for board and/or lessons but can also be a paid position. Message us to chat more about what might work best! Sean McQuillan Kendra McQuillan
Preakness Stakes Hero 2018.
All copyright and credit for this photo goes solely to Barbara D Livingston who took the picture, all rights are there in reserved.
Barbara D Livingston you are amazing photographer, thank you.
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