Matt Jenkins’ dressage blog: preparing for our open day

  • It’s just under a month until our open day — 28 July — and there is so much to organise!

    I’ve been flabbergasted by the generosity of local businesses. It’s great to find out how many friends you have who will pull together to lend a hand. We have been putting together a list of prizes that will be raffled off on the day. Every person that attends will receive a free raffle ticket on arrival and have the chance to win a half-price schooling livery package, free lessons, McTimoney sessions, rug washes and more. There will be tradestands, professionals to meet, refreshments and even a pets’ corner, so why not make a day of it!

    It’s set to be a busy day, starting at 10am with welcome refreshments and a tour of the yard. This will be followed by a rider demonstration, which is a chance to see my horses working and for me to explain my training techniques. This will be followed by a demonstration by equine McTimoney practitioner and massage therapist Laura Browne, looking at how she maximises a horse’s performance and promotes natural wellbeing. This will be repeated from 1pm, so anyone who missed the morning won’t miss out. We will be using different horses for each set of demonstrations, so the whole day will be interesting, fun and factual.

    I’ve built up a great back-up team around me here at Lyneham, without which Matt Jenkins Dressage would not be possible. Scott Rose, our farrier, always does a fantastic job with my horses’ feet. He has a calm and patient approach with the horses. He is always prompt and comes out as soon as he can when we lose the occasional shoe.

    Then there is my vet Natasha Seeley, who is part of Bourton Vale Equine Clinic. She is always at the end of the phone, no matter how silly the query – whether for my horses or a client’s horse. Laura Browne, who I mentioned earlier, is also a vital part of keeping my horses in tip top condition and making sure they are happy athletes. Her magic hands relax them both physically and mentally. She is known as “god” on the yard! These are just a few members of the team that support me.

    Since my last blog I’ve had more lessons with Dan Greenwood. The boys are starting to add a lot more expression to their paces now. They really are two pleasant horses to have around. When they greet you in the morning or come to call in the field, it gets me every time!

    I have had the pleasure of teaching for the Area 9 Pony Club Associate’s camp this week. I was able to work with the same group of riders two days in a row — it is always pleasing when you can watch a natural progression. On Monday we worked mainly on transitions and by the end of the session had achieved much greater balance in both the horses and riders.

    On Tuesday it was great to see the combinations come out fresh and ready to learn more (even after jumping on Monday afternoon). We progressed very quickly and had reached the same results we had achieved in an hour on Monday, in just 10min! This meant we could swiftly progress on to more advanced work and test movements such as shoulder in, leg yield, counter canter and medium work. A truly talented bunch of riders.

    I’m looking forward to meeting lots of new faces at our open day, so if you want any more details please do get in touch.

    Until next time,


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