California Riding Magazine • February, 2010

Jayme Knott: JDK Training
Happy horses and riders are key to
Bay Area trainer’s mission.

Jayme Knott knows her way around the competitive Quarter Horse show circuit. As a junior, the Northern California native racked up many championship belt buckles. From a post that began as a working student gig for noted Western professionals Casey and April Devit, Knott developed several mounts to AQHA circuit awards, All Around titles, top five PCQHA finishes and qualified for the AJQHA World Show.

Her emphasis, however, has shifted since becoming the mother of 2-year-old twins. “Having fun and riding happy horses that love their job” is the motto of her JDK Training. She runs the small-scale training and lesson business from her five-acre home stable in the East Bay Area’s Brentwood. The facility has 14 stalls, but Knott limits the number of outside horses to five to ensure quality training and instruction while also having time for her young family. In particular, she welcomes new mothers and anyone looking for quality instruction in a low-pressure environment.

Students are invited to haul in for lessons and Knott provides top school horses in the form of two former show stars who are perfect for everyone from beginners to riders ready to dip their toes into the show ring. Leases are an option, too, both of Knott’s horses and, often, those of her training clients who may be taking a break in their
own program.

Whatever their level of experience, riders in training with Knott are assured of getting a solid foundation. She and her husband Dustin are team roping enthusiasts and they keep cattle on the property. Exposing clients’ horses to cattle is just one of the methods Knott uses to help her horses and students learn to cope with a variety of situations. It serves another of Knott’s top horsemanship priorities: keeping equine minds fresh and happy. Daily turn-out time is another part of that effort, along with trail rides and training routines that build a sturdy foundation through a variety of exercises.

Problem Solver

Throughout her youth, Knott became an equine problem solver. She paid for much of her college tuition by taking on project horses, setting them on an appropriate career path and selling them. “I have a versatile background that enables me to get horses going in whatever direction best suits them,” she explains. Emotionally fatigued show horses are a relatively easy fix, she notes. “They need more than just arena work. They need things that will freshen up their lives a little.” Interacting with cattle, trail riding and trail obstacles are all great for that, the trainer notes.

Knott established a broad base of expertise before turning professional five years ago. Her services encompass english, western, cattle work and re-training racehorses. Those with show ambitions can count on Knott for help in all of the competitive divisions: Hunter Under Saddle, Western Pleasure, Show Ring Trail, Showmanship, Hunt Seat Equitation, Horsemanship, Halter and Leadline, plus cattle sorting and penning. The Knotts pursue team roping for fun and frequently host practice sessions at their ranch. Guest instructors often visit for intermediate and advanced roping lessons.

She welcomes those with competitive ambitions and focuses on local shows and a family-friendly agenda. She is grateful to her like-minded students and her mother, who continues her role as “show mom,” for making it possible to be successful and enjoy themselves at the competitions she and her students attend. “We are taking the pressure off of showing,” Knott concludes of JDK Training’s current emphasis. “We are allowing clients to see what showing is all about in a fun, less stressful environment.” Show or no show, clients are assured of a great horsemanship education and a good time. And that goes equally so for the horses, too.

For more information on JDK Training, call Jayme Knott at 925-634-7005 or visit