Paula started riding at the ripe old age of 4. It’s not surprising that she should take up riding at a young age considering her parents are Paul and Sally Briney, owners of Pratensé Farms. With both of them being avid equestrians, their love and knowledge of horses quickly rubbed off on Paula.
Paula began riding saddleseat on Pal and then Cricket. Along with show ring successes and U.S. Pony Club participation, she completed Pony Club as an HA graduate. She then attended Stephens College in Columbia, Mo. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Equine Management and minoring in Business Management, Marketing, and Teaching. After graduation, Paula returned home to Pratensé Farms. There she worked as the assistant trainer, training both beginner and seasoned show horses. Her work included transportation and preparation of show horses for Regional and National Competitions.
In 1989 Paula became the manager and assistant trainer for StarWest Farm in New Berlin, Illinois. While there she managed thirty Arabians and increased the beginner lesson program to more than twenty riders. It was during this time that her interest in dressage blossomed.
In 1994 she trained with Sarah Michael at Victory Pass, Inc. in Lambertville Ohio for nearly six months. She trained on horses for Fourth Level to Prix St Georges. In 2000 Paula trained with Betsy Steiner in Wellington Florida for six weeks, training at Prix St Georges through Intermediare II. In addition to extended periods with Betsy Steiner and Sarah Michael, Paula has also ridden regularly with Lee Tubman and Gerhard Politz.
In 1993 Paula purchased Rejent, a then four year old Holsteiner stallion. Since that time, Paula has ridden and trained Rejent to Grand Prix level. In addition to successes with Rejent, she has trained several of his offspring. Regal Heir, a 17 year old gelding who Paula showed through Fourth Level. Rejoice, a 14 year old mare that Paula showed through Second Level. And Renaissance Man, a 7 year old gelding that Paula is currently showing First Level with much promise to have a successful career.
Paula has stated that it is her objective to develop the next generation of equine professionals by combining her experience in horses with her interest in education and mentoring. In her efforts to accomplish this goal, she regularly give lectures and riding demonstrations to area pony clubs, as well as giving numerous youth lessons and bringing along her working students. In 2004 Paula trained students and their horses to the Region 4 Regional Championship. Her students won the Prix St Georges Jr/YR Division. She was also honored to take an exceptional rider to the UPHA/American Royal for the UPHA Exceptional Rider Championships.
Paula’s abilities are reflected in her own accomplishments as well as those of her students. She has shown American Saddlebreds in the 5 Gaited and Park Pleasure divisions to win several regional end-of-year awards. She is a United States Dressage Federation Bronze and Silver Medalist. In 2004 Rejent received the USDF Horse of the Year, and the All Breeds Program end of the year award.
Paula has been a member of the American Saddlebred Horse Association since 1988. Since 1997, she has served on their Sport Horse Committee to develop the current awards program for purebred and part-bred sport horse Saddlebreds.
Paula offers specialized training in both dressage and saddleseat for riders for beginners to advanced, including development for show careers. She trains client horses as well as farm owned American Saddlebreds and German Holsteiners.