Matt Jenkins’ dressage blog: pastures new

  • Due to rapid expansion of my business, I have decided to leave the yard at The Dovecote Stables and set up on my own at my new base Lyneham Heath Farm in the Cotswolds. Here I am aiming to establish a yard of full and schooling liveries for the eventing and dressage markets. I’m very grateful for all the opportunities that were given to me at The Dovecote Stables, and I wish them every success with the demos and clinics they have organised for this year.

    Lyneham Heath is the home of Christopher and Samantha Sandberg, who already have a thriving business here as a cross-country and showjumping schooling facility. The extensive range of cross-country fences — from fences suitable for babies through to more technical, advanced ones — really is something to behold. Although I do not use the cross-country course, it provides great hacking for my horses and schooling liveries. They especially like to have a little splash through the water complexes on the way back from a long hack. It’s a great way to keep them fresh and entertained.

    Also based at the yard is Alice, Christopher and Samantha’s daughter. She is a very talented up-and-coming event rider and is on the World Class Programme. It is great to work alongside her and be able to discuss training techniques and competition schedules.

    It’s been a hectic couple of weeks, combining my current schooling liveries with my own horses’ training and my work for Dan Greenwood and at Crown Farm. We have also been getting things ready for a yard open day — more info coming soon so watch this space!

    I am so lucky to have such amazing facilities, with a large indoor and outdoor school, an indoor walker and extensive hacking with a range of bridleways that starts on the yard! There is also the grass gallops within hacking distance. On the yard we have a large heated tackroom and clients’ room, with an alarm system, plus I live onsite for added security. The yard is spacious and modern, with large airy stables which all have automatic water drinkers and rubber matting. There is also a laundry room, rug drying room, feed room and warm water wash bay that are designed specifically so the yard can run efficiently and can be kept to the highest of standards.

    I’ve been busy teaching. Many of my clients have been doing well at their competitions with many placings and even a few wins. I have also started teaching for Chiltern Riding Club. I have taught a variety of riders so far, but they all have one main goal — they are committed to achieving the best they possibly can from their horses and their riding. What more could a trainer ask for? I’m looking forward to developing my relationship with the Riding Club further and watching the combinations I teach progress.

    I have also started training with Dan again and we have been working on a higher degree of collection with the boys. They have both grown up a lot in recent weeks, maturing into very special little horses. Maybe I’m biased?! It’s often difficult when producing young horses to keep the faith as a lot of their training is repetition, working on strength and allowing them to develop, but every few days you get one of those breakthrough moments, that makes it all worth the wait.

    I hope I will be able to bring you details of our yard open day and the launch of my new website next time.

    Until then,


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