As a husband and wife team, the dedication towards the care of horses has been central to our story since the day we met. We fell in love riding through the rolling hills of Scotland. Shortly afterward, we built our business raising, training, and competing horses in France. (In 2014), we came to the United States to establish a business that embodies quality horsemanship, mutual respect, and lifelong growth. The Frame Sport Horses uniquely channels our individual strengths, our respect for both horse and rider, and the rigorous European principles of young horse development.
Martin, finds talent: Martin Douzant is from Vaucluse, located in the heart of Provence in the south of France. Who knows which direction four-year-old Martin’s life might have taken were it not for a chance meeting with a paint pony named Paquerette during a family vacation. It was love at first sight, if not flat out obsession, and after just one ride Martin’s fate was sealed. The Douzant family returned from their summer vacation and promptly enrolled Martin in the local pony school.
France’s curriculum for developing horses and riders is classical, correct, and standardized. Martin’s passion for horses combined with his intense work ethic flourished in this environment; he trained or competed every day of the week. At a young age, Martin discovered his remarkable ability to identify talent in young horses before they began training and to develop their natural talent through patience and consistency.
Martin knew at this young age that he would dedicate his life to horsemanship. By middle school, Martin’s evident talents secured him a place in Sport Études de Castelnaudary, the illustrious equestrian high school in Toulouse. In college, Martin specialized in business management for sporting enterprises. He simultaneously earned France’s official BEES First Degree certification, the essential French riding instructor certification. Martin then moved to Scotland to work for and train under Olympic medalist and eventing legend Ian Stark.
When Ashley arrived in Scotland, Martin met his match in passion and dedication. Moreover, he admired her ability to connect with others through easy conversation and quick wit. Her optimistic mindset allowed her to turn mistakes into opportunities, to grow from life’s challenges.
Upon his return to France in 2009, Martin opened the doors of The Frame Sport Horses, a business focusing on young horse development. He scoured the breeding farms of Europe to find young, talented horses that he could develop at the start of their careers. Working together, Martin and Ashley realized the need for well-bred, well-trained European horses in the United States. Martin connected with Patricia and David Vos, who asked him to first work with them at Tebogo Sport Horses and introduced Martin and Ashley to Virginia’s riding community. By establishing an operation in the United States with deep knowledge and experience starting young horses, as well as furthering the classical education of both horses and riders, Martin and Ashley were able to open the doors of The Frame Sport Horses USA in early 2015 in The Plains, Virginia.
Ashley, finds balance: Ashley Douzant, a native of Michigan, loved all animals as a child, even catching snakes that she fondly named and housed, despite the chagrin of her family. As she grew, however, horses occupied an increasingly larger portion of her thoughts and her plans. With no pony club in her area, Ashley patiently saved up until at age fourteen she purchased her own horse, Brutus the Bull, an off-the-track thoroughbred. Determined to be a great rider, Ashley began to train Brutus in dressage as she immersed herself in the German theories of riding.
The German systems for training, which, similarly to the French systems, are deeply classical and thoroughly standardized, fascinated Ashley. She diligently pursued every opportunity to work for and clinic with top riders as she aligned her education in classical riding theory. When she was nineteen, she accompanied Alex Gerding as a rider on a buying trip to Germany. After graduating college, Ashley returned to Germany to work for a breeder developing and competing a group of their three, four and five year olds.
From the start of her riding career, Ashley ensured that she enjoyed every step of her journey as much as she enjoyed dreaming of future goals. Throughout her career, she pursued opportunities to train with top riders while remaining self-funded. In high school, she worked part-time in a dry-cleaning store and part-time teaching riding lessons, where she quickly discovered her love of and natural ability in teaching. Her students, even her elders, noted how her explanations made difficult concepts seem more sensible and attainable. She later began taking pilates, and once she discovered its benefits to her riding, she became a certified Stott Pilates Instructor and used the Pilates’ tenets of body awareness and balance to aid her students.
Though she initially went to Michigan State University for their renowned veterinary program, the allure of the riding world called Ashley to Shoeman Road Farm, which is where she discovered her path in riding and in life. School was put on the side as Ashley alongside her first business partner and best friend, Madison Foote, taught, managed the farm, competed, trained and sold young horses. Additionally, Ashley helped to start Camp Casey, a celebrated camp for children with cancer and their siblings. All the while, Ashley reveled in competition and in ways to improve her riding. Her ambition drove her to Scotland.
Ashley went to Scotland to join Madison to train with Ian Stark. When Ashley first met Martin there, she was taken by the man who matched her own life aspirations. She loved his sense of humor, his rigor, his scruples, and his sound judgement in both identifying talented horses and in his principled horsemanship.
Arriving in France in 2009, Ashley joined Martin to build The Frame. She reveled in the opportunity to further solidify her young horse skills using the precise and methodical French system. She also gained valuable experience competing amongst top European riders. Ashley and Martin were married in 2012, and when they decided to move The Frame Sport Horses to the United States, they discovered that Ashley was pregnant with their first child. Arya was born in the United States in 2014; Ashley continued to teach, training her students on their body awareness, balance, and judgement, reinforced by classical education in the theories of riding.
Martin is a top notch trainer with a strength in bringing along horses and riders correctly with a solid foundation. He’s patient and kind to both horse and rider, extremely knowledgeable, and offers high quality care to his boarders. He’s both a great rider and teacher with good communication skills. It’s a lighthearted atmosphere with serious horsemanship–best combo!
Martin Douzant is an excellent trainer, he truly considers the horse and at the same time makes the horse rideable for the owner.
Finding Martin and Ashley has been a turning point in my riding career. As an adult rider moving to a new area, I found it hard to find a program that suited both my horse and me. I had lost confidence and felt out of the game. A few months training with The Frame got me back into the show ring and completing my first recognized event! Martin and Ashley excel both at flatwork and jumping exercises. My mare can be sensitive, and they were quick to figure her out and come up with a program that suited both her and my needs. They understand the importance of establishing a solid foundation and have the skills necessary to work with both horses and riders to make it happen.
Martin and Ashley have done just a super job preparing my Training Level event horse for sale. Their attention to detail and focus on the horse’s individual needs are outstanding and backed up by a wealth of education and experience. Martin’s ride is always calm and focused, he has a plan and a program for each horse that is a classical progression which builds the strength, understanding, confidence and knowledge the horse needs to succeed. I am most impressed!!
Martin and Ashley are fantastic! I brought my 4-year-old Friedman sport horse, Glory, to them to be backed and trained under saddle. Prior to my buying her 9 months earlier she was never socialized and hadn’t been handled much, so I was a little apprehensive as to how the next step of her training would go. Martin was outstanding with her and she quickly progressed from round pen to ring to hacking out within a week. He explained his process step by step to me and what it would teach her. He and Ashley would arrange her training sessions around my schedule when I was able to come which I really appreciated. In addition to their stellar training process Martin and Ashley are just genuinely kind, good people who were very welcoming and took exceptional care of Glory while she was there. Glory has been home several weeks and has been a dream in the ring and out on the trail. I couldn’t have asked for a better training experience or result.
Years ago when seeking help with our OTTB retraining and sales business we were fortunate enough to have Martin apply. It took all of five minutes watching him ride one of our sensitive prospects to know how fortunate we were to have him join us. When Ashley and Martin formed The Frame we were one of their first clients – and to this day when we need training assistance with one of our young horses we turn to Martin and Ashley. Their excellent horsemanship, exemplary program, and diligent work ethic are superb, not to mention they somehow manage to be both incredibly professional and tons of fun. Working with them is consistently productive and delightful.
I’ve known Ashley and Martin for several years and have been impressed with their knowledge and hard work they put into the horses. I’ve had Ashley and Martin help me break and train a couple of your horses and it was a very rewarding experience. To this day Ashley continues to teach me in dressage and jumping and because of her my riding abilities have improved greatly.
I worked for Martin as a groom for a very short time, about 2 years ago. Martin was fantastic to work with. Martin is very talented and really knows how to pull the best qualities out of his horses. I had a fantastic time working with him. He genuinely cared when he asked about your opinions and thoughts about certain situations. He was also a patient and kind trainer. He treated all the horses as if they were is own. I still follow The Frame on Facebook and enjoy seeing the success that Martin and Ashley are having.
I bought my horse, Chris’s Symphony from Tebogo Sport Horses when Martin was working there for Patricia Vos. Martin was great- very professional and honest about the horses he showed me.
Martin and Ashley and great horse people. Martin started both of my young horses from the ground up and they came back to me well educated, confident and safe to ride. Martin and Ashley are both excellent trainers and riders and I would be happy to have them on any of my horses. They are also honest, forthright business people that I trust to represent horses accurately.
Martin is very professional and easy to work with. Very accessible for questions and responds quickly. They are quality trainers that have quality horses. I have the highest regards for Martin and Ashley.
We recently purchased a young horse from The Frame Sport Horses and what a truly wonderful experience it was! When looking to purchase a horse, there is the potential for it to be a stressful experience – a hard-pressure sell, uncertainty about the horse’s background and experience. Yet every time we looked at one of Martin and Ashley’s horses, my family and I remarked on what a relaxed and enjoyable experience it was. Never once did we feel pressured or rushed in the slightest. Our trainer and vet both found them to be extremely knowledgeable and a true delight to work with as well. It was apparent they have a great deal of integrity and there was never a doubt that their ultimate desire was not to simply sell a horse, but rather to ensure we found the best fit for our daughter. The horse we purchased, which is one Martin hand-picked, is an absolute pleasure to have in our barn and truly exceeds our expectations. We would refer fellow equestrians to The Frame Sport Horses again and again!
I had a very difficult big young horse, who had thrown a few trainers. I searched the local area and found Martin who, without a doubt, had the quietest aids! I chose him to train my young horse and I have never been disappointed. He has done an excellent job of taming the beast, who will always be a challenge – but not for Martin.. As a rider and trainer, he is talented, patient and remains calm in very difficult situations – unflappable, even at a show with 6 horses to ride back to back. Martin is a joy to work with, highly skilled as a trainer with a nice sense of humor and a willingness to fit in when schedules change. I have had horses in training with Martin for over 2 years, he is wonderful and incredibly hard working. My four-year old, who had only been jumping for six weeks with Martin riding him, went to Upperville this year and received the reserve champion for the 4-5yr old division. Having worked in the Virginia horse industry for 30 years, I consider him one of the best trainers. Ashley and Martin are a great team!
Horse Owner & Training Client
My riding has gone from finishing Horse Trials at the bottom of the pack at BN, to
averaging in the top third, in the ribbons and safely moving up to Training within two years of
just riding on the weekends. To put this in perspective, I started riding at 40 and don’t have the
equestrian foundation most adult riders do. Martin’s keen eye and ability to coach rider to the
horse is excellent. Compounded with Ashley’s finishing touches both on and off the horse and
you have a recipe for success and achieving your goals.
Horse Owner & Training Client
I brought my 5-year-old OTTB to The Frame Sport Horses in early 2015 and watched as Martin transformed him into a 2-time American Eventing Championship qualifier with finishes at 12th and 20th (only due to my rider errors). Oddly enough, it was Martin who had re purposed my OTTB at another facility. Martin’s system, patience, skills and innate horsemanship are the pillars of The Frame’s excellent program.
Horse Owner & Training Client