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Years ago, Lisa Coulter was asked to become active on the Para Committee at Equine Canada and took immediate interest in the effort to create Para Reining. In 2013, Lisa was asked to coach American Champion Para Dressage rider Rebecca Hart, at the AQHA World Show in Oklahoma City for a Para Reining Demonstration being held there. This is where World Para Reining began...
While working through the development of Para Reining activities for several events, Lisa realized a strong need for a completely INCLUSIVE, global organization. The idea was simple... Invite the entire world of para equestrians to try a reining horse—and to inspire any rider with dreams of competition to get involved.
“There are other great associations set up with Para programs. WPR supports them all and does not want to replace other amazing opportunities. However, we see an opportunity to create something new—an organization built by the riders! WPR aims to expand worldwide, and a few pioneering riders will be able to take a tremendous amount of pride in what they have built for others.”
— Lisa Coulter
From the beginning, World Para Reining has worked tirelessly to implement educational and competitive programs worldwide. This means WPR will continue to promote WPR competition and educational events throughout the world. We strive to offer our support and services to shows and educational clinics hosted by any association, any trainer, of any size, in any country. We have successfully created the gold-standard for Para Reining education and competition through endless research, partnerships, creation of rules, patterns, show structure and support, rider, coach and judge educational programs, awards and prizes.
WPR developed a World Championship Series that saw it's inaugural year in 2015. The goal of this series was to promote sport, welcome sponsors, and allow riders to set aspirational competition goals. The series offered prizes up to tenth place, and a world title. In 2016, WPR was proud to see growth and offered the first International Team Event in Para-Reining, including an international individual event that was held at the AQHA World Show. Since that time, we have grown and held international competitions in North America, France and The Netherlands! Unfortunately, in 2020, COVID 19 forced WPR to suspend our International Championship, but we're hoping to start again in 2021!
WPR is proud to currently be holding competitions in conjunction with international show associations in the USA, Canada, The United Kingdom, Belgium, Japan, The Netherlands, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, South Africa, and Australia. 2020 brought more opportunity worldwide as it partnered with associations offering online competition series in para reining, but also welcomed inclusion with para competition offered by partnering organizations in ranch riding, reining, trail, horsemanship, western pleasure, and equitation. Although the 2020 competition year has been a challenge for everyone, we are striving to continue with our goal of creating competitive opportunities for riders worldwide.
In addition to competition, World Para Reining will continue making education a priority. There are clinic opportunities at the WPR Headquarters in Rio Verde, Arizona, as well as WPR representation at other clinics being held across the USA. People from around the world are encouraged to come to The 17 Ranch and either participate as a rider or learn valuable coaching and volunteering skills.
WPR dedicates itself to fostering both beginning riders who dream of riding a reiner, to high performance riders looking to compete on a world stage. There is something for everyone at WPR. Contact us, and let us help you live your dream and reach your goals.
Freedom Has Four Legs...
Freedom Has Four Legs...
The true spirit of the WPR effort relies heavily on the backs of our trusted Reining horses. As we all know, those backs can carry a heavy load. Reining horses are special, and it makes them perfect for the Para Equestrian model.
Reiners are typically the cold-blooded, kind, and gentle American Quarter Horse. Our Reining horses tend to be incredibly broke and adaptable. Their shorter stride and generally smooth gait lends itself easily to comfort and safety of the riders. With a high degree of "willfully guided" training techniques, the Reining horse is an incredibly easy horse to maneuver. The horses have been taught to work off the slightest of aids and with a loose rein. Their ability to do their work effortlessly with little guidance from the rider sets them apart and makes them the perfect partner to a rider who may have limited use of their aids. This takes a high degree of training, but with today's trainers increasingly better at producing a truly willingly guided horse, Para riders will benefit greatly.
Our Reining horses are also taught to work off various aids including the voice...this allows some great control by the rider that will be critical in safety as well as connecting to the horse. Reining horses have learned to balance themselves in all their movements on their own. Once fully trained, a Reining horse has a great amount of freedom based on balance and agility. But they are easily controlled by the softest of cues from the legs, voice, hands or seat. If one of those aids is missing, the horses are trained to have backup aids. This makes them tremendously trustworthy and able partners to riders with varied disabilities.
Reiners tend to be trained at a young age with the focus being on years 3 to 7. Para horses will serve best to the riders after the age of 7. These horses will be superiorly seasoned and trained by this age. Maintenance and training will need to be continued—World Para Reining is devoted to the care of these beloved horses and will develop education and assistance in making sure the horses maintain the high level of care they deserve.
WPR looks forward to breathing a new life into the retired reining horses and legends of the industry. Para riders and reining horses will be teammates working together through the challenges that life has sent them. It will be a team born of adversity, but it will flourish into a team of grateful partners who are so thankful that they realized the value in each other.
World Para Reining is currently looking to add a team of horses to our program to aid riders in their learning and showing goals. Most of our Para riders are only set up to lease horses and will rely heavily on a lease program. Our goal is to provide every rider with a horse. With 501(c) Non Profit status, horses can come into the program via charitable means. We also have the ability to provide tax receipts. Some horses will be purchased. Please contact WPR if you have a horse that fits into this program.