A lifelong equestrian of varying disciplines, Warwick Schiller moved from his home country of Australia in his 20s to the United States in order to pursue his dream of training horses. He focused his competitive efforts on Reining, becoming an NRHA Reserve World Champion, and also representing Australia at the 2010 & 2018 World Equestrian Games. Warwick's ever-evolving training philosophy places the horse's mental well-being at the forefront of every interaction. He now spends his time helping people create deep and meaningful relationships with their horses, by helping them to change their perceptions about their horses and themselves. His unique ability to relate horse training to greater life lessons, partnered with his science-based training approach, has transformed thousands of horses and people around the world. Warwick has over 600 training videos on his online video platform, designed to create a relaxed, connected and skilled equine partner.
Where were you born and where are you living now?
I was born in Young New South Wales, Australia, and now live in Hollister, California.
When did you start riding?
My father rodeoed, and we always had horses around. I probably started riding when I was around six or seven on a bay mare named Mary Rose
What are you passionate about?
Teaching people how easy it is to train horses and get along with them. It is easy as long as you understand the true nature of horses.
What are you working on right now?
Right now I have a full-on training business in California and an online training site where I post videos of real-time training on real problem horses. This way people can learn what I know from the comfort of their office or lounge.
What’s on the cards for the year ahead?
I’d really like to do more clinics. I love doing clinics and helping people achieve their goals with their horses. I will be visiting the UK for the first time this June to teach some clinics and demos.
Where would you like to be in five years time?
You know, as much as I love the reining, my true talent lies in my ability to explain things to people in a way that they understand it. As much as I’d like to be a superstar reiner, my abilities in that field have their limits. My ability to explain things in a way people really understand however is surpassed by very few, so you have to go with what you are good at. In five years time, I would like to be doing a lot more clinics. I’ve had people for years now tell me that they had heard it all before but didn’t quite ‘get’ it until I explained it to them. It appears that’s my gift so I should use it.
What achievement are you most proud of?
Being chosen to represent Australia at the 2010 Alltech World Equestrian Games in reining was a huge honour, and really one of the highlights of my life. An experience I will never forget.
Outside horses what would you consider your most memorable moment or achievement?
Marrying my wife Robyn and raising a son that I am extremely proud of.
I would change how people lead their horses. I know it sounds like a small thing, but many major issues such as separation anxiety and anxiousness come from doing that wrong.
What motivates you to go out and train each day?
I really love to see the progress with horses, whether they be really talented reiners or a mentally messed up dressage horse that has totally lost the plot. I like to see them get better, both physically and mentally.
How do you prepare mentally for an important event?
I’m not an aggressive person by nature, which I think really helps me train horses, but to really show well at a high level in the reining you have to go out there and challenge the pattern, so I do a lot of visualisation over and over about what I’m going to do and where I’m going to do it. I ride the whole ride in my head over and over and make little mental adjustments each time.
Which two things would you like to change in the horse world?
Firstly, I would change how people lead their horses. I know it sounds like a small thing, but many major issues such as separation anxiety and anxiousness come from doing that wrong. Horses, in a herd situation, do not walk side by side. The leader leads, the follower follows. When people try to bring a sense of equality and have a horse walk beside them the horse gets confused. I have had people fix many of their horse problems by just changing how they lead. Many times these are problems that don’t even seem related to leading.
Secondly, I would want everyone to be educated as to the nature of the horse - that horses don’t learn from pressure itself but from the release of pressure. The horse will always seek the place where the pressure is the least.
What would you do if you weren’t working with horses?
Probably something artistic, or at least creating something. I like to do leatherwork, woodwork and build things.
Who do you admire in the horse world?
In the reining world, I really admire the guys who can produce the high-end horses who do their job with a smile on their face like Shawn Flarida and Andrea Fappani. I also really admire my friend Martin Larcombe, he is such a natural and things come so effortlessly to him. Outside the reining world, anyone who really takes the nature of the horse into consideration when dealing with them.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Make the wrong thing hard and the right thing easy.
What has been your biggest lesson?
My biggest lesson early on was to learn to keep my mouth shut. Now I think it’s funny I’m getting paid to talk all day!
Where can we find out more about you?
You can go to my website www.warwickschiller.com, or follow me on Facebook. I also have a YouTube channel with over 100 videos and an online training site where I currently have over 24 hours of real-time training with problem horses and horses learning things for the first time.