Warwick Schiller to headline Washington State Horse Expo


“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” 

This popular 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.

I have to admit, I was a little nervous before the interview (fan girl shyness) as I prepared to talk with a horse trainer whose reputation crosses two continents. 

Turns out, I had no reason to be nervous. You would be hard pressed to find someone easier to talk to.  Immediately it was clear that Warwick loves horses — and even more, he loves sharing his knowledge. 

Some background

According to Warwick, he grew up on 1,200 acres in New South Wales, Australia, the son of a rough stock rodeo rider (bulls and broncos). His father transitioned from rough stock to timed events in the late 60s, early 70s. 

“I showed in the all events as a youth,” Warwick explained. 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 reiners and set his sights on the World Equestrian Games.  

It paid off.

Not only did he eventually become a National Reining Horse Association Reserve World Champion, but 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,” said Warwick. 

As it turns out, Warwick also has a knack for teaching.  

“Now I spend all my time doing horsemanship clinics around the world,” he said, adding that reining has become a hobby. 


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.

A Facebook comment from November 16, 2018 reads, “I love how simply and sensibly Warwick explains what he’s doing and why. The principles of training are the best explanations for how to train horses in the way they need to learn. Thank you for helping me be better for my horses.”

A YouTube comment on a video titled “Stepping into release versus stepping away from Pressure” reads, “Got it. I feel like I know more about what’s it’s like to be a horse, not just work with them, every time I watch one of your videos. Thanks.”

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.” 

Or, 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 admit, I was puzzled at first and did not quite get what he meant, but he explained further.

“When you change your perception, is when you can effect change in your training results,” he said. “‘Letting your horse win,’ is one such 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 the safe zone then offer them a chance to rest at the scary end.” 

According to Warwick, horses quickly come around to the idea they want to be down at the scary end resting. 

“They win. You win. Your relationship wins,” he said. 

It was during this part of the interview that I sneaked in an observation about my own horse’s behavior, mentioning that I had watched one of his videos on how to address herd bound issues and was planning on trying it out (different issue from the scary corner, but same approach to working through it). 

I shared with Warwick that my new (and only) horse was busting through wooden fences to cover the whopping 50 feet or so he was separated from my neighbor’s horses. My solution was to bring home another horse to keep him company.  The Clark County Adopt-A-Horse foster program was a perfect solution. One of the horses that had been seized because of abuse needed a foster home. Severely starved, nothing but skin and bones, Mariah first entered the program with a foal at her side and already pregnant with another one. She has been in the program for a couple years recuperating and is doing great but still needs a foster home. 

It was a perfect fit. She needs a place to stay and Andy needs a friend — that’s what I call a win, win. The fences were all standing now, but there is just one small problem now: I cannot work with Andy because he loses his concentration when I take him away from Mariah.

Warwick said to stop looking for ways to train Andy when I do not have his mind. In other words, change the way I was looking at the problem so I could affect the change in Andy’s behavior that I want. I needed to get out of my head that training has to be in the “training” area. Instead, Warwick suggested I go out into the pasture and we work on our groundwork — right next to his mare.

“First things first,” he suggested. “Put the groundwork tools you need in your arsenal before you take him away from his mare. Then when you do move him away, you have the tools you need to grab and hold his attention.”

About the Writer

La Center resident Lynn Jenkins is a freelance graphic designer (LynnJ Graphics) who has had a life-long passion for horses. According to her mom, she started riding while still in the womb.  She currently has two horses, Andy, a big stout Medicine Hat Paint and Miriah, a rescue horse she is fostering for the Clark County Adopt-A-Horse program. Lynn worked at her first newspaper while in high school before joining the Navy, where she became a Navy journalist and later attended Syracuse University where she specialized in photography and writing.

{{tncms-inline content="<p class="p1"><span class="s1">Just shy of its 10-year anniversary, the Washington State Horse Expo will be held March 1-3. The expo is three days of equine education from the trainers from around the country, horse performances and hundreds of vendors.</span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">As of press deadline, tickets are not yet on sale.<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span></span></p> <p class="p1"><span class="s1">For more information, head to clarkcoeventcenter.com and look for the horse expo on the 2019 event calendar.</span></p>" id="24b50932-2735-4bae-8dc5-8fcbf986149a" style-type="fact" title="If You Go" type="relcontent"}}