"While I have been riding horses most of my life, and I have been training in dressage for the past 3 years to qualify for the Paralympics, I had never ridden a reining horse until right before the first WPR clinic. From the very first feel of how responsive reining horses are, how quickly they can accelerate and decelerate while still remaining calm in the mind, I was hooked. These horses are perfect partners for disabled riders who long to compete in a thrilling but relatively safe equestrian sport! When I ride a horse it is like someone just handed me wings; it gives me hope, something to aim for, and extreme happiness in spite of my physical limitations on the ground.
The creation of the WPR is exciting because it will fill a much needed roll of coordinating all the various elite reining competitions around the world, make Para reining classes more accessible, and provide end of year championship prizes. The WPR will allow para reining to become a competitive sport even outside of the World Equestrian Games and Paralympic events and will be more within reach of the average disabled person. It is an honor to be involved in the beginning of this new sport and I plan to promote para reining and compete at WPR recognized classes as often as possible. I am so grateful for all the volunteers, reining organizations and sponsors who have supported this amazing effort!"
"After taking a 15 year break from riding due to complications from my disability and taking time to establish my career, I needed to find a way back to riding. I missed the sense of accomplishment and joy that learning something new and working with the horses provided me. Mostly, I just missed the horses. I wasnt going to be able to start riding again in an English saddle, and that is when I found reining.
There is really nothing like getting in the tack and riding a reining horse. Reining horses are so responsive and so tuned into the riders, that they know and understand how to perform, and also to keep you safe. They just seem to know that they can trust you, and you them, and its an amazing partnership. I may not be able to run a marathon, or play basketball, or do some of the other athletic activities that many of my friends enjoy, but I can lope and spin and slide 30 feet (someday) with my equine partner.
Not long after I started riding reiners, a friend of mine introduced me to Lisa Coulter and many of the people that would start WPR. I cannot thank Lisa and the WPR team enough for the riding and learning opportunities that they have provided to me. I have had experiences that I never could have dreamed of and made lifelong friends. I am truly grateful for the support and knowledge provided by the coaches, athletes, horses and supporters. I am truly blessed by all of my WPR friends!"
"I was born without my right leg. I am an FEI Grade IV Para Dressage rider competing at national and CDI shows. I have also competed and won Gold and Silver medals in Dressage, Hunter/Jumper and Trick Riding in able-bodied competitions as a national team member of Burma. In 2013, I was introduced to Reining for the first time and was invited to take part in the first-ever AQHA World show in Oklahoma City. Since then, I've been hooked. I don't feel like I am changing my discipline, as Dressage and Reining training methods are generally the same. Elements of compulsion, finesse and power from the hind legs are essential in both disciplines, with speed and excitement added to Reining. I highly recommend any equestrian rider try Reining. I especially recommend any Para Equestrian compete in Para-reigning events. I can assure you that American Quarter Horses are well broke and balanced enough to take care of riders with disabilities. For me, Reining is not just a sport ....its an emotional therapy. Through this sport, we can explore and enjoy freedom and sprit of American culture that a person with disabilities may otherwise not be able to." I have no doubt that Para Reining will grow with great strength and will be part of national and international reining events in the near future—with your support."