Amidst the craziness that ensued during the 2020 show season with a virus soon turned pandemic, there was a bright spot for Martin Doustou with a new opportunity as he landed a coveted spot as assistant trainer with Rusty Green Show Horses in Ocala, Florida. Then, at the AQHA World Championship Show, Martin found himself in the arena competing against some of his biggest idols with Beez In The Trap, a mare owned by Rusty’s late mother, Mary Rogers Green. They topped the Level 2 Junior Trail class, which gave Martin his first World title.
A “Sure” Thing
With a strong dedication to build a successful career in the horse industry, Martin never walks away from a challenge–both in and out of the arena. In January of 2020, in Venice, Florida at the NSBA Fun In The Sun horse show, Martin happened to notice the large number of horses that Rusty and Katie Green had brought to the event. He thought maybe they could use some help. “I walked over and asked. Rusty looked at me and answered with a very nonchalant, ‘Sure.’ I started right away and went to Ocala from that show and became an assistant trainer,” Martin says.
The Green Team
Martin eased into his new job and immediately felt the support and encouragement at the barn. “We share the same calm approach with horses, and handling the ups and downs of training; which helps us stay motivated and moving forward. Everyone benefits, everyone feels appreciated–especially the horses–when we all work hard to maintain the true integrity of the job we do.”
Although Martin has his own set of horses that he works with independently, it’s not uncommon for the trainers at Rusty Green Show Horses to bounce horses back and forth between riders. It gives the horses a new perspective when they’re offered something else to try, Martin says. “I mainly focus on the Trail stuff with my horses, but when I do ride some of the Western Pleasure horses, it allows me to work on that different skill set. It really gets fun when I get a Western Pleasure horse and introduce them to a pole or two, or watch one of my own going through some rail work and finding how they fit into all that. One thing is for sure, I usually find myself looking for a ground pole or two during my Western Pleasure rides. That’s my comfort zone, and I will always be drawn to the obstacles,” Martin laughs.
“I take the responsibility of helping a horse find its individuality to excel in their events, which is what’s so rewarding for me. Realizing every horse’s worth and figuring out what qualities they bring to the table is such an interesting accomplishment for me, as well,” Martin explains.
Katie Green tells us what she thinks are the most impressive qualities of their young assistant trainer. “The most impressive thing, when it comes to Martin, is his passion and dedication. He eats, sleeps, and breathes this business. He’s always trying to progress, and there’s no detail that goes untnoticed. He’s created his own style in the Trail pen, and it’s been exciting to watch him be rewarded for it.”