Hi, my name is Ginger DeRay
I am the owner and operator of A&A Historical Trails Stables. I was born on a cold, stormy February day in 1955 in Grand Lake, CO, where my parents operated a lodge and a pony ring by the lake. My parents eventually lost the lodge because of “paperwork.” Penniless, they moved to Aurora (east Denver) with a pony ring to start Saddle Lane Stables.
I don’t remember when I first rode a horse. I do remember, however, helping my mom make ribbons from scratch… ribbons that were given away every Sunday to participants in the weekly gymkanas my parents offered.
When I was 14, I left my parents, my three sisters, my two bothers, and my home in order to find my destiny. Six months later, I realized what my destiny was… It was that which I had left! So homeward bound I went with a new outlook on life and a new respect for my parents and environment.
My father raised Appaloosas and at that time had 450 head of horses, catered camps, leased hunting horses, and raised about 75 colts a year. I started breaking and green training in the winter (it was cold and I didn’t really like it). The next summer, my father dropped me off with 16 head of horses, grain, hay, and tack at a Jewish camp near Mt. Evans. He told me one thing, “Go the camp director and find out what he wants!”
I was scared to death! I was 15 years old and the youngest counselor and non-Jewish person at the camp. Although I ate three meals a day and received quite an education by participating in the Jewish ceremonies with the rest of the counselors, I chose not to stay with them in their quarters… instead, I slept on the haystack in the barn.
The horses spent the nights free on the open range. Every day started at 5 a.m. as I rode out to gather the horses and prepare for the full sunrise ride, a one-hour and a two-hour ride after breakfast, and a two-hour ride after lunch. Once a week, we had a sunset ride. Not much of a school girl, I wanted to quit high school and do “the horse thing” full time. My dad enticed me to finish school by offering me my pick of two of his colts. But, by the time the three years to graduation passed, my father’s stallion, Sundance, had been hit by a car and killed… so I didn’t get my colts! Instead, I got $500 for a down payment on a ’73 Volkswagen Bug.
At 18, I ran a stable for two years which was three miles outside of Cripple Creek, CO. I lived in the campground. Again, the horses were open-range. Not being very busy, I started doing bead work while I waited for customers. At this time my dad had seven stables in Colorado, one of which was in Central City. I had been spending winters in a summer cabin there and there I met the father of three of my kids, Wonder Vail, TruLane Allen, and NuPree Déi. I thought he was my One True Love for this life, but as time went on I realized life is R-E-A-L long! My father, being old fashioned, believed that you stay with your man, so I got married at 20, had three kids, grew all my own food, raised all our own meat, and was a domestic goddess for eight years before my marriage broke up. Back again to my true destiny!
Not wanting to leave my kids at a sitter’s and knowing only one occupation, I begged my dad to let me go back to work with the horses. “No, give it one more year,” he said. I did; and the marriage didn’t work out. My dad and I then started A&A Historical Trails Stables in Idaho Springs which I ran for 14 years at the Argo mine.
Chamay, my youngest child, was born in 1991 and went on her first moonlight ride when she was three months old. Chamay continues to be quite the horsewoman. In 1999, I moved A&A Historical Trails to Russell Gultch, a historic ghost town located between Idaho Springs and Central City.
Because I have come to enjoy the intimacy of personalized service and small groups, I have downsized my herd to 10 head. No question about it, these are the best trails I have ever ridden! I am so thankful for being able to ride the Rockies on a daily basis and am thankful for my beautiful children, and my seven grand children. I hope you can come to the magnificent Colorado Rocky Mountains and ride with me sometime… it’ll be a time you’ll never forget!
Thanks for listening!