The WPDA is a Group Member Organization (GMO) of the United States Dressage Federation (USDF). We strive to uphold the mission of the USDF of educating, recognizing achievement, and promoting the art of dressage.
The WPDA was founded in 1974 by Joe Lane. Joe made a living as an engineer, but his true love was the horse. He rode in spite of his own lack of time. He experimented and tested without help in the beginning, always listening for what the horse’s behavior would tell him. As he struggled through the basics, many watched his struggle and thought, “It might be easier if...”, but no one lacked respect for Joe’s determination.
As Joe gained experience, he became acutely aware of the need for knowledge in Western Pennsylvania. He was convinced that the quickest way to disperse knowledge to the greatest number was through an educational organization which would provide the opportunities for interested people to ride, show, learn and share. And so, funded for the first year from Joe’s own money, the Western Pennsylvania Dressage Association (WPDA) was born. Joe worked hard as the WPDA President to develop guidelines which would ensure a continuation of the learning process. He continued to challenge himself and others by setting ever higher goals for WPDA. He successfully completed the Learner’s Judge Program shortly before his death.
His life represents the challenges each of us who rides must accept: the challenge to discipline oneself for the day-to-day work which is the foundation of each successful accomplishment; the challenge to keep trying when the odds are against you; the challenge to be unafraid to experiment and learn from your horse; and the last, the challenge to find joy inherent in working with your horse toward the goals you have chosen.