Thursday, October 30, 2014

Exciting Opportunities Available with McQuillan Equestrian!

Long-time MLE client and top international competitor, 
Sean McQuillan is looking for capable individuals to fill openings at Kilfinnan Stables in Upperville, VA. McQuillan Equestrian is looking for a special candidate in the heart of Area 2 to fill their open working student position. Sean and wife, Kendra are dedicated to the sport of eventing and providing top-level training to both horses and riders. Their ideal candidate a good work ethic, strong time-management skills and a keen interest in learning, as well as their own method of transportation. Practical experience with horses is a must, and experience with young horses and a familiarity with eventing would be helpful. They typically maintain a 6-day work week with consistent barn hours, and most days would consist of riding for the first part of the day and the availability of a lesson in the afternoons. Traveling to shows and events should be expected. In addition to riding, you will have a behind-the-scenes look at the horse management and veterinary side of our business, and gain experience in helping to manage a successful training operation. If you interested in this position please send a resume and riding video to Kendra McQuillan at 

In addition to a working student position, McQuillan Equestrian is looking for a qualified individual that can handle the daily duties of a running a successful operation.  Daily duties include: managing the horses, turn-out, feeding, tacking, untacking, grooming, etc. Practical experience around horses is a must. Riding opportunities with Sean will be available giving you a chance to further your riding career as well. In addition to riding opportunities, you will have a behind-the-scenes look at the horse management and veterinary side of our business, and gain experience in helping to manage a successful training operation. Full time and part-time is available. Pay dependent on experience. If you are interested in this position please contact Kendra McQuillan at 

For more information about McQuillan Equestrian, our facilities and our horses, please visit our website: 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

4 Reasons Why Every Rider Should Volunteer

Another blog post by MLE intern Emily Goldstein!

Emily's view for the day ...
This past weekend I volunteered as a cross-country jump judge for the Novice and Training Three Day at Waredaca. It was a beautiful day and I had a great spot to judge from. My jump (number 15) overlooked the pond and also allowed me to see a few other jumps around the course. I think I was just as excited to watch as the riders were to compete.

The first thing I noticed when I arrived for the jump judge briefing was that the group of jump judges ranged from adult amateurs to professional, upper-level riders. It was great to see all types of riders giving their time to help the event run smoothly. Besides jump-judging, there are many jobs volunteers can perform such as scribes, ring stewards, runners, ring crew, and timers. All riders should find some time to volunteer and here’s why:

1.     We should all do our part in giving back. If you compete and plan to continue to compete, you should return the favor and support the resources that you benefit from. Under-staffed events stretch volunteers very thin making them less-likely to want to volunteer in the future.

2.     You can learn a lot by volunteering. Volunteering at horse shows or events can provide less experienced riders with a sense of what happens at shows and what the atmosphere is like. This can be helpful if you have never shown before or have little experience with the environment.

3.     Volunteering brings people together. Because there is such a diverse crowd of people who volunteer, it is also a good way to meet friends, make connections, and build a sense of community.

4.     This should never be the main reason for volunteering, but often, volunteering has its perks. Sometimes you will be given compensation like a schooling pass, jacket, or shirt. Waredaca offered hats, shirts, jackets and lunch to their volunteers at their three-day event last week.

Friday, October 24, 2014

The Fair Hill Experience

This past weekend, MLE intern Emily headed up to Fair Hill for a day of cross country. She chronicled her experience here!

Phillip Dutton galloping by!
    This past Saturday, I spent my day watching the cross country at Fair Hill. There is no other experience equal to that of a big international competition that brings such a large group of “horse-people” together. You can really feel the bond of fellow horse-people at an event like this. Of course, there is a competitive spirit but everyone is also rooting for all the riders to come home safely so there is a huge sense of community among hundreds of people. It’s very fun to cheer all of the riders on as they go by. It’s also very cool to get to watch your equivalent of a movie star do “their thing.”

    When you enter the fairgrounds you are immediately overwhelmed by all of the things going on. Do I go browse through the vendors? Do I try some food? Where should I stand to get the best view of the cross country? Did I mention there were over one hundred horses in the 2* and over fifty in the 3*? Cross country went from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. It was certainly an action-packed day!

    Besides getting to walk around the cross country course and see your riding idols close enough to touch as they go by, there is an abundance of things to do at Fair Hill. Of course, there is great food and drinks, but there is a trade fair, pony rides, dog agility courses, tailgating, and anything else your equestrian heart might desire. I’ll admit, I left with a new pair of boots for my horse.

    Cross country day is something that can be appreciated by all. It’s like Nascar in the way that even if you aren’t familiar with the sport it’s still fun and exciting for anybody to watch. I brought my non-horsey boyfriend with me and I’m pretty sure he enjoyed it a lot more than coming to my horse shows and he definitely enjoyed the food and all of the dogs there. The thrill of cross country is something everyone can enjoy. All equestrians should try to come out to Fair Hill or an event like it at some point; it’s a great experience! 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Stephen Bradley and Susan Graham White are BACK!

Two of our favorite clinicians are coming back to A Bit Better Farm in Brookeville, MD for some last minute prep before the official end of the season. Susan Graham White is up first on October 27th and will be teaching from 12:15-7:00. One 45-minute private is $130. Susan specializes in building a solid foundation of communication between horse and rider which produces incredible results. A USEF 'R' Judge, Susan is great for offering solutions to a certain issue you've been having or if you want to practice your test before your next event. There is only one spot left so be sure to contact Margaret if you would like the last slot!

Stephen will be returning on November 5th to teach small group jump lessons. Groups will start around 11am and end at 7pm. Each group will have no more than 3 riders to offer plenty of individualized attention. Lessons are $115 per rider. Private lessons are available but there is limited availability for $155. Stephen's exercises and use of grid works keeps the horses on their toes and always thinking about what's next. Stephen's encouraging yet challenging way makes you and your horse walk away feeling extra confident and that you're ready for anything! This is the perfect lesson to take as a last prep before a competition.

As always, auditing is FREE! We encourage you to come by to take in some of the great information to try back at home!

To reserve your spot in one or both of these clinics, contact Margaret McKelvy today at!