Staci Gust’s lifelong love for horses began long before she ever had the opportunity to sit on her first one. At the age of 10, Staci started taking lessons with Jennifer Collman in 2001. Since then, Staci has gained a list of accomplishments that span the gamut of equestrian sport. A jumper rider at heart, Staci’s hopes and dreams live in the hunter and jumper ring. However, she has excelled in equitation, horsemanship, reining, pleasure, dressage, eventing and more, up to a long list of wins at the regional and national level and a 2 year membership on the NCAA Intercollegiate Horse Show Association team.
A local representative of the rare Akhal-Teke breed, she rides for Shah’ Zadeh Akhal-Tekes in Osakis, MN and for breeder Bradley Sherman of Dodge Center, MN. Staci has been demonstrating the breed since she first encountered them in 2010. She competes with Shah’ Zadeh’s metallic buckskin stallion, Jack, in dressage, and is looking forward to introducing the show world to what these horses can do.
Staci has a talent for bringing out the best in all her horses, no matter what arena she’s riding in. Her experience has ranged from starting young horses to putting on the finishing touches. She has helped to rehabilitate problem horses, develop advanced competition horses, and is always furthering her own education as a trainer and teacher. With a foundation in natural horsemanship, she trains with an understanding of the world from the horse’s point of view. Her innate ability to maximize every horse’s potential makes her an asset to the training program, and allows her to help her horses and riders reach their biggest goals.
Staci is currently working towards a USDF Bronze Medal, and is actively persuing a future career in the Grand Prix jumper world. She also is working to improve upon her skills with young and problem horses through study of natural horsemanship. Her long list of interests and goals has made her a melting pot of different ideas and methods – her ability to find similarities between different horse worlds and apply them to her daily training has given her and her horses extreme versatility.