You Decide What’s Possible

Don’t walk. Soar.

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You Decide What’s Possible

Don’t walk. Soar.

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Para-Equestrian

When Shayna learned about the USA Paralympic Coaching program from Michel Assouline, she knew she had found her path. Shayna has dedicated countless hours to the sport, and had always wanted an academic certification as a Dressage trainer. This is widely offered in Europe, but has been missing in the United States.

Shayna knew this was the realm she belonged in. She loves working with Olympic caliber athletes and their horses. She is fulfilled by teaching them, guiding them, helping them test their limits, and then seeing them find their true potential. She also discovered the extremely collaborative Para-equestrian community. These amazing riders support each other as one tight-knit team; a camaraderie and support network that isn’t widespread in the able-bodied equestrian world.

Being a para instructor isn’t a profession to Shayna; it is her calling in life. She believes in classical riding and always putting the horse first. Her training methodology is simplistic and based upon first principles; the horse will always understand what you are telling them if you are clear and consistent. This comes from her mentor, four-time Olympian Stephen Peters. This simplicity unlocks growth for para riders; you don’t need full use of your legs to communicate with the horse, or all your limbs, or a lot of strength. There is a more profound bond, a more subtle means of communication, and a powerful understanding between horse and rider. This carries over into Shayna’s work with able-bodied riders; not everyone can do things the same way. The talent is finding the right way for everyone to achieve greatness.

That is why working with Bea has filled her with deeper meaning and purpose. Bea was in a deeply traumatic accident, physically and mentally. While she has lost the use of her legs, her bond with her horses has only grown stronger. This is a bond that Shayna understands deeply. When your spirit melds with an animal, you become one with them.

Para-Equestrian

When Shayna learned about the USA Paralympic Coaching program from Michel Assouline, she knew she had found her path. Shayna has dedicated countless hours to the sport, and had always wanted an academic certification as a Dressage trainer. This is widely offered in Europe, but has been missing in the United States.

Shayna knew this was the realm she belonged in. She loves working with Olympic caliber athletes and their horses. She is fulfilled by teaching them, guiding them, helping them test their limits, and then seeing them find their true potential. She also discovered the extremely collaborative Para-equestrian community. These amazing riders support each other as one tight-knit team; a camaraderie and support network that isn’t widespread in the able-bodied equestrian world.

Being a para instructor isn’t a profession to Shayna; it is her calling in life. She believes in classical riding and always putting the horse first. Her training methodology is simplistic and based upon first principles; the horse will always understand what you are telling them if you are clear and consistent. This comes from her mentor, four-time Olympian Stephen Peters. This simplicity unlocks growth for para riders; you don’t need full use of your legs to communicate with the horse, or all your limbs, or a lot of strength. There is a more profound bond, a more subtle means of communication, and a powerful understanding between horse and rider. This carries over into Shayna’s work with able-bodied riders; not everyone can do things the same way. The talent is finding the right way for everyone to achieve greatness.

That is why working with Bea has filled her with deeper meaning and purpose. Bea was in a deeply traumatic accident, physically and mentally. While she has lost the use of her legs, her bond with her horses has only grown stronger. This is a bond that Shayna understands deeply. When your spirit melds with an animal, you become one with them.

Slide Coaching Béa Bea and Shayna share a powerful connection. Coaching Bea has been one of the most important experiences of Shayna's life. She has guided and watched Bea grow into a world-class rider, and has seen her develop into an inspiring and powerful person. They began with Deedee (Delegada X, PRE 2002), who they often joke has a ‘golden parachute’ because of the support she gave Bea after her accident. After Bea and DeeDee’s first CPEDI***, Shayna went to Europe and found two horses for her upcoming season. Knowing Deedee and knowing the mechanics of how Bea rides her helped Shayna find the perfect match for Tokyo.

Bea is missing her lower legs and is paralyzed from the hips down. Bea rides with custom designed prosthetics and a customized saddle. They train the horses with two whips and voice commands. Bea and Shayna are constantly communicating on what she can feel and what she can't so that they can adapt feedback and communication that the horses understand. When training with para riders it is vital to keep the horse fit as a normal able-bodied professional horse would be. The difference is that you must be able to get off, put your rider on the horse, and maintain the connection and feedback between horse and rider.
Visit Béa's Website

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Tokyo 2020+1 Olympic Games

Bea and Shayna have spent the last two years of their lives preparing for Tokyo 2020. The pandemic’s Olympic postponement has taken some adjustments, but it allowed them to give their horses some much needed rest. It also gave Bea time to recover from a bone infection in 2019. Bea and Shayna know that, in 2021, they will be stronger than ever as a team. They will be ready.