My name is Gaye DeRusso, I am the owner and trainer of The Majestic Rider.
I started riding when I was 5 years old. My neighbor told me about a lesson stable and I took lessons every week and at the age of 19, I bought my first horse, off the race track and trained it to compete in hunter/jumpers.
While in college I was offered a job riding and showing, at Dutch Manor Stable, so I took the opportunity and put college on hold. I gave lessons, trained and showed in hunter/jumpers in upstate New York, with Peter Van Guysling and was fortunate enough to learn from some great trainers including George Morris https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_H._Morris. I also was trained in dressage by excellent trainers.
I was very lucky in the fact that I could never afford a horse so the only way I could ride was to be constantly in lessons. I rode some very green horses, and took some pretty good falls but learned so much. I would ride anything they gave me, just because I wanted to ride and learn. I would never give up, no matter how hard the horse was to ride, and it was the horses, that truly taught me the most.
I finally went back to school and finished out my degrees, so I could support myself and my horses. After moving to California in 2000 and experiencing the trails, I decided I no longer wanted to compete but just to become a serious trail rider. It was then that I found my first gaited horse, Legend.
My adventures with gaited horses had begun. Legend did not gait when I bought him, he just trotted and could canter on one lead. I thought, how hard can this be? Well much harder then I thought, I then began my education on gaits and natural horsemanship, as those were not the only problems Legend came with. I tried to learn from the best, the trainers that could naturally get the horses to gait without any special gimmicks, I rented every gaited video I could find, and again, it was the horse that taught me the most. I continue to learn more everyday I am with horses.
I sold Legend some years ago, he was 18 years old. The new owner had a great time with him and moved to Carolina. She competed in some endurance races with him, went trail riding and loved to show everyone all his tricks.
I now have Sundance Kid, as my personal horse, and I use him in lessons. He is the one in the picture to the left. He is a Tennessee Walking Horse.
Over the years, I have learned so much about these horses and have tried to share what I know about gaited horses, with others. There are so many great things about them, including some funny things that only gaited horses do. Like stand parked out by themselves, twist and turn their legs in all sorts of directions when tied up, you would think they are double jointed. Their movement is unique and although they are naturally gaited, it is in the training, they actually makes them gait correctly.
I continue to work in the medical field as an Orthopedic Physician Assistant but part time or should I say almost full time! I sell, train and give lessons on gaited horses. I enjoy each horse, and try to make it the best it can be. I make sure each horse has a foundation to base its further training on. I teach them all ground work, basic arena work and make sure they have extensive trail experience. Then I try to fit the horse with the right owner. Since I know the horse so well, I am still able to help if problems come up in the future. I try to teach each buyer about the gaited horse, and how to ride it correctly, so the horse will gait correctly. Education is key to keeping a well gaited, trained horse, well gaited and trained. I hope that you learn something from my site and share it with others who have gaited horses.
I love demonstrating what our horses can do in the gaited demos. I have been a clinician at the Western States Horse Expo, and even gave a talk to the UC Davis Large Animal Veterinary Students. I love to educate everyone who will listen about gaited horses. They truly are my passion.