Posted In: Customers
Wheeler’s Western Outfitters Customer Spotlight: The Martin Family
Wheeler’s Spotlight: The Martin Family
This month, Wheeler’s Western Outfitters chose to feature Todd Martin and his family as the customer spotlight of the month. Todd and Taumi Martin own and operate Todd Martin Performance Horses. The couple has four children, Matthew,10, Aniya, 9, George 8, and Davaney, 7, all of whom are home schooled, making most of their day-to-day activities a family affair.
While Todd is an established and very successful reining horse trainer, his wife, Taumi, works the marketing and advertising side of the business, and each of their children is involved in the family business, in some way or another. Whether that includes helping prepare for shows, being the first to test run the lessons Todd puts together, or just being present at events, the Martin youngsters are completely exposed to the reining, and horseback riding world, as a whole. This is quite a different experience, compared to Todd’s upbringing.
A LATE START
With zero experience in the horse training industry before college, Todd went out on a limb at 21 years of age and took horse riding lessons. He claimed the initial motivation branched from his roommate’s involvement in the rodeo team at Texas State University.
“I could out rope all of them, but I had not spent any time riding,” Todd said. “They all seemed to have girlfriends, so I thought maybe I should start roping and riding so that I could have a girlfriend, too.” From there, Todd began taking riding lessons with full intentions of becoming a rodeo cowboy, but the Lord had a slightly different track in mind for Todd.
“The first time I went to my lesson, the man put me on a reining horse,” Todd said. “She was a little horse named Rose, and Rose could spin FAST.” I said, “You know what? I’m not going to pick up a rope until I can train a horse to do that.”
MAKING UP FOR LOST TIME
After many hours spent horseback, Todd became proficient enough in his skills to give riding lessons of his own. As one opportunity led to another, Todd began giving riding lessons to Taumi, who would later become his wife. “She was probably one of my best clients,” Todd said. “Then we got kind of serious, and I stopped charging her after that.”
Todd went from not knowing what a lead on a horse was in his early twenties, to starting his own business training reining horses for the public at 28, to becoming one of the most successful reining horse trainers in the world by age 34.
BUILDING A BRAND
“The cause of all of this, and what got me to where I am today was just the fact that I love horses, along with the fact that is was God’s plan for me. There is no doubt that,” Todd said. He also credited his wife for the significant successes he has seen.
“Taumi does not do much riding. She helps with the other part of the business,” Todd said. “She came from a background of sales, so she helps me with marketing and promoting my business.”
While skills and industry knowledge play a huge role in success, Todd related how it takes a team to be successful. “To be a really good horse trainer, you have to be so many things besides a horse trainer,” he said. “You can be good at horses, but if the only thing clients are bringing you is donkeys, then all you are is a really good donkey trainer,” Todd said. “My wife is the one who really drives the marketing. If it were not for her, I would have been happy just riding donkeys, as long as I had a truck. But, when you have a wife, you want to do well for her, and you want to have nice things for her and the family. It makes you work hard and get really good at what you do.”
Together, the couple has made a prestigious name for themselves in the horse industry. Todd has conducted clinics across Mexico, Canada, and Europe, in addition to the U.S. He also had the opportunity to coach the Danish equestrian team, during the Olympics, and he assists countless individuals with their horseback riding skills on a daily basis.
TODD MARTIN RIDING ACADEMY
Recently, they have started Todd Martin Riding Academy, which is a program that teaches the fundamentals of western riding. The primary drive behind the academy is to create a firm foundation and develop fundamentals for those with a desire to be involved in the western industry. The Martins’ program is structured in a level format. As students progress in skills, they advance to certain levels and eventually graduate the program.
“I want to build an academy up that teaches solid fundamentals of riding and proper riding– period,” Todd said. Through all of the success, Todd explained how his primary purpose is to point people to Christ. “Introducing Christ into people’s lives is the most important part of my life, but the special revelation, for me, is using God’s creations to prove He is in it all,” he said.
Besides the family’s work with horses, Taumi and the girls participate in gymnastics, while Todd and the boys do jiu-jitsu. He explained how they travel together to clinics and shows, as well as the occasional camping or kayaking trip. This family is always on the go.
THE WHEELER WAY
Todd said one of his favorite things about Wheeler’s Western Outfitters is the quality customer service. “Whenever I go in, those guys are always getting me loaded and getting me out of there as efficiently as they can,” he said. “They always have a full line of products, and they know exactly what they are talking about. They know about my industry and that is really important to me.”