I consider stumbling upon the work of Warwick Schiller to be one of the biggest lucky breaks I have had along my equestrian journey. The first time I logged into his subscription site, I poured over the videos for hours in a quest to absorb as much information as possible. As with any great horse trainer with a gift for sharing their process, you wish that somehow you could soak in the information by osmosis. Instead, you get something better; the ways and means to recreate the results for yourself.
Along with Warwick’s obvious passion for his work and horses, what is equally impressive is the amount of energy, effort and attention that Warwick gives to those wanting to learn from him. I chatted Over the Stable Door with Warwick, and captured some of his thoughts on what drives him, what he’s learned so far and how his work contributes to a rider’s ability to cultivate confidence.
“What I do now all came out of wanting to share what I’ve learnt so far on my journey. I want to show people how simple horse training can be when you understand what motivates horses and the underlying principles behind everything you do.”
I consider myself a not-very-talented- rider but I feel that if you can really understand horses, what motivates them and understand the WHY’S of everything you do, horse training can be relatively simple.
If I could share only one piece of advice with a rider who was looking to improve their methods and relationship with their horse, I would suggest they become very aware of their horse’s focus and very aware of the need to teach their horse how to control their emotions.
Over the years my empathy for horses has grown a great deal. I’d also say that I used to be very, very good at getting horses to be obedient and it seems nowadays I find myself being more drawn to improving my relationship with them.
A positive mindset is something I consciously cultivate for myself. It has to do with choices. The books I choose to read, the programs I choose to watch, the people I choose to be around and the choice to decide that every day is going to be a good day.
As far as confidence advice goes, I believe knowledge of your horse and what it may do in any given situation is something that will give you a great deal of confidence. I have a saying, “I’m not brave, I’m thorough” and if you are thorough enough in an environment that you control (which will show you what your horse has inside him/her) then it will give you confidence.”