The Equestrian Center of Walnut Creek

"Keeping Horses in the Heart of our Community"
Heather Farm Park, Walnut Creek, CA

Gaye DeRusso
Owner and Trainer of The Majestic Rider

 I started riding when I was 5. I would make my mother drive up to every trail riding place we passed and they always told her I was too small, I would cry and we would drive away. 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, so I took the opportunity and put college on hold. I gave lessons, trained and showed in hunter/jumpers in upstate New York, and was fortunate enough to learn from some great trainers. I also took dressage clinics and rode with some eventing trainers as well. I rode some very green horses, and took some pretty good falls but learned alot in short period of time. 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 then 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 horses that taught me the most. I continue to learn more everyday I am with them. I sold Legend a couple years ago, he was 18 years old. The new owner is still having a good time with him and moved to Carolina. I now have Sundance Kid as my personal horse, and have also been using him in lessons. He has a personality similar to Legend, he teaches me everyday.    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 full time during the day but part time, I sell, train and give lessons on gaited horses.