Matt is one of the most noteworthy event riders currently competing in the country, recognized for his natural feel and patient yet effective way with horses. A compassionate horseman, he is a technician in both the dressage and show jumping, with a tremendous natural ability across the country that instills confidence in his horses.
Matt has a special talent for forging a deep bond with his horses and bringing out the best in them, nurturing presence in seemingly plain horses, and letting naturally brilliant horses shine. Though Matt has a special fondness for bringing young horses along, he is also equally adept at developing rewarding partnerships with mature horses.
While Cecily’s main focus is on dressage training at home and less on showing, she is equally gifted at both. Thanks to her background in jumping, natural horsemanship, and dressage, Cecily has a rare ability to break issues down to find the root cause of a horse’s inability to perform their best, and demonstrates patience and precision while helping the horse become stronger and more educated in its work. With her elegant and effective position and her sympathetic feel, she has a knack for developing harmonious partnerships with her horses. It is a pleasure and an education to watch her ride, and all of the horses in East West’s program benefit from her feel while in the tack, and her eye for detail while observing them work under Matt.
With a small program that has a uniquely personalized and detailed approach to all aspects of the horses’ training and care, Matt and Cecily see to it that the horses at East West lead comfortable and contented lives at home, enabling them to give consistently successful performances in the show ring.
Rare in upper level programs, Matt and Cecily train, condition, and provide care to the horses at East West on a daily basis themselves, with a small and knowledgeable staff to provide support in the stables, giving them an intimate and extensive personal knowledge of their charges.
If you are interested in partnering your horse with Matt, please contact us to learn more.
A whole new world was opening to me
I brought my 6-year old green horse, DJ, to Matt Brown for some remedial work in the basics. I had been referred to Matt and had gone up to his barn one afternoon to watch him train. I watched him work with 4 horses one after the other that had completely different issues: a miniature horse that was being schooled in driving dressage, a dressage mare who had been started by her past rider so incorrectly and severely that she was continually braced and fearful, a rambunctious 3-year old who was just being started, and a seasoned second level dressage horse who was kind but reluctant to move forward for his amateur rider.
Matt was so adaptable and resourceful in his approaches to each of these horses that I realized that he had a depth and breadth to his experience that I had never before seen. I didn’t understand immediately all of the groundwork or work under saddle that he did, but in each case, I saw such visible improvement in the horses’ attitudes and ways of going that it was clear that he had a great deal to offer.
I arranged as quickly as possible to have Matt evaluate DJ in the round pen—a process that yielded so much helpful information that as soon as there was space for me, I moved DJ up to Matt’s barn and put us both in full-time training. Over the next couple of months, Matt took us through groundwork that helped me to establish a different kind of partnership with DJ. We progressed to work under saddle in which we gradually added one aid at a time, rebuilding DJ’s foundation.
After two months, I realized that we had flown by all of the goals that I had set for myself, and a whole new world was opening to me. Although I am learning new techniques every day, the greatest and most rewarding aspect of Matt’s training has been his clear explanation at every step of the what’s and why’s of our training so that I can grasp things conceptually and then FEEL what’s happening in DJ’s body and in his responsiveness. To do this, Matt draws upon his uncanny understanding of how horses think, what they need in order to learn, and what we individual riders need to master in order to work effectively with our horses. He’s patient, flexible, resourceful, and positive. Horses love Matt—they move toward him in the arena, respond to him under saddle—and the leadership that he provides for them radiates out to the riders as well. I count it as my good fortune to be able to work with him.
I have ultimate confidence in Matt’s training methods
I first met Matt in 1996 when he had just returned back to Sonoma County from Denny Emerson’s. I asked him to ride my horse several times when I was out of town, and when I returned, two of my friends asked if they could ride my horse because he looked fun and WAY different when Matt rode him! After almost 20 years, that disparity has only widened.
Matt started my 3 young horses, and I have ultimate confidence in Matt’s training methods. I have been told that my horses are friendly, that they look you in the eye and take their cues from you. They have extremely soft mouths and are very responsive to light leg and seat movements. I always knew Matt was quietly competitive and had that urge to win and go farther in his career. My only regret is that my horses and I cannot continue to be trained by him now that he lives on the other side of the country.
When I needed help I called Matt
When I needed help I called Matt, without any hesitation he helped me with my young Stallion! A true professional! Thanks again Matt!
Matt has his own unique method unlike anything I have ever seen
I recently acquired a young horse that needed to be backed and a friend suggested that I go see Matt Brown. That was the best advice I could have gotten. Matt has his own unique method unlike anything I have ever seen and I have been around horses for some forty years (I will date myself by saying I was long listed for the ‘ 68 Mexico games in eventing) so I have seen a fair share of training methods and techniques. When working with the young horses Matt’s goal is to give horses chance to be a partner. He is fair in discipline, consistent in communicating with the horse, and never teaches through intimidation. Matt trains every horse by their own mental and physical abilities and always makes sure they
“get it” before moving on. Everything Matt does makes sense and the horses respond accordingly. I can highly recommend Matt Brown to anybody with a young horse or a horse with a problem.