Warwick Schiller Headlines Event March 1-3, 2019
By Lynn Jenkins
Photos Courtesy of Warwick Schiller
If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. This bit of wisdom from self-development coach Wayne Dyer became the focus of an interview I conducted recently with the internationally renowned horse trainer and headliner for the Washington State Horse Expo, Warwick Schiller.
The 9th Annual Washington State Horse Expo, March 1-3 at the Clark County Event Center in Ridgefield, WA promises to be as equine star-studded, exciting, informational and horse concentric as the previous eight years—once again setting the bar for horse expos around the world.
Washington’s largest horse expo is three days of equine education from the best trainers around the country, breathtakingly beautiful horses, and hundreds of vendors creating a huge marketplace with something for all horse enthusiasts.
Perhaps most importantly, the Washington State Horse Expo is an event designed to share the participants’ love of horses with each and every attendee. They share their love of horses with children who may be touching a horse for the first time when they meet—and paint—the white Arabian horse, Pepa. (Yes, actually finger paint a horse!)
The Washington State Horse Expo is definitely a can’t-miss equine event and I’m honored that I was asked to participate by writing this article about their headliner, Warwick Schiller.
Warwick Schiller grew up on 1200 acres in Australia, the son of a rodeo rough-stock rider (bulls and broncs). His father transitioned from rough stock to timed events in the late 60s and early 70s. “I showed in all the events as a youth,” Warwick explains, but he gravitated to the world of reining, “because it seemed like the hardest one to do and I like challenges.”
Warwick moved from Australia to the United States to pursue his dream of training horses. He focused his passion on reining and set his sights on the World Equestrian Games.
It paid off. Not only did he eventually become a National Reining Horse Association (NRHA) Reserve World Champion, he also represented Australia at the 2010 and 2018 World Equestrian Games.
“Once I moved to America and was training reining horses, I was drawn to horsemanship in order to figure out easier ways to train the reiners,” says Warwick. It turns out that he is really good at horsemanship and helping other people with their horses. “Now I spend all my time doing horsemanship clinics around the world. Reining, while still my passion, is now my hobby.”
A Unique Approach to Training
A quick glance at Warwick’s Facebook page or the comment section of his YouTube videos showed me exactly why he is such a popular clinician. He has not only mastered the art of communicating with horses, but with people as well.
According to Warwick, “By expanding our knowledge of equine behavior, cognition and learning theory, we can create more ethical training practices that enhance the horse-human relationship and the horse’s welfare.” In other words (Dyer’s), when you change the way you look at things… the things you look at change.
When I asked Warwick his approach to horse training, his answer was the Dyer quote. I was puzzled at first and did not quite get what he meant. He explained further, “Change the way we look at horse behavior, not as something to be taught, but understand they already know it. When you change your perception, you can effect change in your training results.”
“Letting your horse win” is an example of looking at things differently. For example, instead of trying to force them into to the scary end of the arena, simply work them in a safe zone then offer them a chance to rest at the scary end. According to Warwick, they quickly come around to the idea they want to be down at the scary end resting. “They win. You win. Your relationship wins.”
Do you have a horse behavior problem? Would you like to change the way you look at it and find a solution? Then don’t miss the Washington State Horse Expo and the opportunity to learn from Warwick and many of the other horse specialists. There’s something for everyone!
The Northwest Horse Source is an independently owned and operated print and online magazine for horse owners and enthusiasts of all breeds and disciplines in the Pacific Northwest. Our contemporary editorial columns are predominantly written by experts in the region, covering the care, training, keeping and enjoyment of horses, with an eye to the specific concerns in our region.