Matt Lightner grew up in a small town in Virginia, where he started riding as soon as he could walk.  At age five, Matt knew he what he wanted to be when he grew up.  He wanted to work with horses. Throughout high school, Matt worked with an older gentleman named James F. Varner, "Jimmy". At Jimmy's, Matt learned to show horses, break colts and the overall care of horses.  From 2005 to 2015, Matt worked his way up as an assistant trainer.  He started working in North Carolina, spent time in West Virginia and then went to New Hampshire, along the way he gained valuable experience training horses and instructing riders.  In 2016, Matt moved back to North Carolina to put all of his experience to use as Manager and Trainer at Chestnut Lane; it is his golden opportunity to spread his wings.​