Becky Martin of Lomita, CA, is living her dream as a horse-owner and show-woman.
From a young girl whose family couldn’t afford a horse, to now an AQHA Select World Show qualifier, Martin finds herself enamored by all things involved with her horses.
Martin has owned and shown horses from sixteen years now, but the start to her horse-owning career was a bleak one. While the young horsewoman began riding at a very young age, she never did purchase her first horse until much later in life. With cousins who had horses in Ojai and a retired turnout pasture at the end of her road, Martin’s equine affection grew rapidly early on. Then, in 1963, Martin met trainer and judge, Judy Kennedy, at the Lazy J Ranch Children’s Camp in Malibu. Martin, coincidentally, was counselor for Kennedy’s parents. The year-round camp allowed for her to grow her passion for riding on the weekends and when she wasn’t in school. “Unfortunately, having come from a large family, horses to own were not in the budget, however, I could get my horse fix around as many as I wanted at the camp,” Martin recalls. As the young lady grew older, when not in school, she would often accompany Kennedy to several big shows and was able to learn several aspects of the horse show world. Although she learned to drive a truck and trailer, as well as load and unload horses, it was still much later in life before she purchased her own horse.
Kennedy continued to be a huge influence in Martin’s horse life for some time and was the reason she bought her first horse. While judging a show, Kennedy saw a three-year-old sorrel mare in the arena, which she contacted Martin about, saying, “How would you like to own a horse and show it?” Martin says she “couldn’t believe” what she was hearing. “It had always been a dream of mine to own and show a horse,” she adds. A quick “yes” landed Silkn Passion in the horsewoman’s life. Under Kennedy’s guidance, Martin and the mare hit the show pen, after she bought her first shirt, hat, and borrowed some chaps and boots, of course! Martin and the mare showed together for 13 years in the Pacific Coast Horse Show Association and lightly in AQHA and PCQHA in the Novice Amateur and Select Trail classes. Some of the pair’s biggest wins included multiple years of the PCHA Adult Amateur Trail division and an All Around Select Amateur win. Silkn Passion was retired in 2016, but how Martin best sums up her experience with the mare is in the words, “dreams do come true”. The duo lit a flame of passion for showing in Martin’s heart and soul; one that’s still burning bright today.
Without a horse for almost a year, Martin found her next partner in 2017 when accompanying Kennedy to another show. It was at this time that Martin started leasing Hezan Investment, aka Beau. In 2018, she purchased the gelding, who already had an extensive show record including multiple AQHA World Show placings. Now showing under the guidance of Michael Hoyt of Moorpark for the last two years, the duo has been a force to be reckoned with in Novice Select Trail. Beginning in 2017, Martin and Beau blazed a path of success, starting with a Performance ROM, an AQHA World Show qualification in Trail, and placed 9th in the Justin Intermediate 50 & over, as well as 7th in Level 1 Select Trail. She certainly loves Beau in the show ring, but Martin says he’s just as special outside of it as well. “Beau loves his peppermints, hears the wrapper coming off each time and will pester you until you relinquish the goods. However, it is those ears of his which separates him out from the others. Everyone just loves his ears and the way he holds them,” she shares. While Kennedy remains as a supporting factor in Martin’s horse life today, it was the skills and opportunities the trainer introduced Martin to early on, that remain her favorite parts of the equine world. “What I enjoy most about riding and showing is the people I meet and the horses I see,” she shares, “Many trainers have watched me grow and compete. The encouragement and friendships I have received is an emotion that will last with me forever.”
Martin also takes great pride and commitment in her work for the City of Ranchos Palos Verdes, which she’s been employed by for over 44 years. When she first began, her duties were in the Recreation department where she taught tennis, archery, and wee tots (3-year-olds). She also performed office duties at that time. After nine years in Recreation, Martin transferred to the Finance Department where she became the city’s first in-house computer payroll personnel. 13 years in Finance led her into another new role when she was recommended by the City Manager to become the first City Permit Technician in the Public Works Department. This remains Martin’s current position and has been for 22 years, where she processes applications and works with utility companies and the public, regarding items dealing with Public Right of Way such as streets, sidewalks, curbs etc.
If she’s not busy enough between horses and work, Martin has many interests and hobbies, as well. She has four siblings, nieces, and a nephew, as well as a great niece and great nephews whom she enjoys spending time with. Additionally, she has two cats and is a house-sitter for pet-owners who go on vacation and need someone to stay with their pets, so they feel comfortable in their home environment. Martin enjoys mountain trail riding, something she’s done for over 20 years. “…I was partner with a gentleman, and we created and maintained our own trails in the local mountains,” she shares, “Almost every weekend we would pack his ranch horses with the needed tools and lunch, to ride and maintain unique trails into and out of canyons. We enjoyed the nature, landscape, and wildlife which we encountered throughout the years.” Martin’s trail riding friend passed away in March of 2018 and the trails were destroyed by the Woolsey Fire last November, but her fond memories of the experiences she came upon will certainly last her a lifetime. Martin is also an avid sports fan, from PBR Bull Riding to Olympic sports and PGA Golf, just to name a few. In her spare time, or what she has left of it with such a packed schedule, Martin thoroughly enjoys assisting at a local western horse show which includes a class for Therapeutic Riders. “Seeing the joy on their faces as they show off their riding skills and earn a blue ribbon is just so heart-warming,” she says.
Although Becky Martin may not have had show horses from an early age, the horsewoman says she’s now living in a world in which she merely dreamt of at one time. From successful show placings, to eventful hobbies, and the uplifting activities she’s involved in, Martin finds herself constantly busy, but more than anything, she’s loving the life she lives.