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An Interview with Warwick Schiller

We had the distinct opportunity to sit down with Warwick Schiller. 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, eventually becoming an NRHA (National Reining Horse Association) Reserve World Champion and also representing Australia at the 2010 & 2018 World Equestrian Games. His unique ability to convey his knowledge to others became apparent when he successfully went on to coach individuals who garnered coveted reining titles such as NRHA World Champions, NRHA Rookie of the Year, Australian Champions, U.S. Champions and a fellow WEG team member. Warwick coined the phrase “making the wrong thing hard and the right thing easy” as his methodology of working with horses.

Embracing Partnership with Horses

Understanding the concept of “making the wrong thing hard and the right thing easy” is a profound journey that challenges our innate instincts as human beings. We are, by nature, control-oriented creatures, often driven by the desire to dictate and manage every aspect of our environment, including our interactions with horses. However, true harmony with horses can only be achieved when we relinquish this need for control and embrace the principles of trust and mutual respect.

Shifting Perspectives

In essence, “making the wrong thing hard and the right thing easy” requires us to shift our perspective from one of dominance to one of partnership. Rather than attempting to exert control over the horse, we must learn to empower them to make choices and decisions for themselves. This fundamental shift in mindset is rooted in trust-a trust that extends both ways, from human to horse and from horse to human.

Horses possess an innate ability to sense incongruences within us, reflecting our internal state back to us with remarkable clarity. This keen sensitivity serves as a catalyst for growth, prompting us to embark on a journey of self-awareness and self-discovery alongside our equine companions. In order to truly connect with our horses, we must learn to listen to their voices and honor their perspectives, even when it challenges our preconceived notions or requires us to step outside our comfort zones.

Warwick shared a poignant anecdote that illustrates this principle beautifully-a story of a black belt karate practitioner who discovered that true mastery lies not in acquiring new skills, but in revisiting familiar territory with fresh eyes and a deeper understanding. Similarly, in our relationship with horses, mastery is not achieved through force or coercion, but through humility, presence, and a willingness to learn.

Practical Steps for Partnership

So, what are the practical steps we can take to embody the principles of “making the wrong thing hard and the right thing easy” in our interactions with horses?

  • Approach your horse’s path with a black belt’s insight: Just as the karate practitioner revisited familiar techniques with newfound wisdom, approach your relationship with your horse with a sense of humility and openness to learning.
  • Be present: Cultivate a state of mindfulness and presence when interacting with your horse, setting aside distractions and judgments to fully immerse yourself in the present moment.
  • Set a mental intention: Before engaging with your horse, set a clear intention in your mind, guiding your actions and fostering a deeper connection.
  • Consider the mental health of your horse: Recognize the interconnectedness of mental and physical well-being in horses, understanding that their emotional state is intricately linked to our own.

Cultivating Trust and Understanding

By embracing these principles and committing to a journey of continuous growth and self-discovery, we can cultivate a partnership with our horses built on trust, respect, and mutual understanding. Together, let us embark on this transformative journey and become the partners our horses have been waiting for.



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