11 April 2023

Young export Warwick Schiller riding high with first horse training book a bestseller

| Edwina Mason
Start the conversation
Man on horse

Warwick Schiller at home on his ranch in California. Photo: Warwick Schiller.

Anyone with more than a passing interest in all things equine has various well-thumbed, possibly dog-eared, tattered and slightly grubby, not dusty, horse bibles lying around.

Well, now you can add to that reference collection the work of Young’s most successful equine export – Warwick Schiller – who has condensed his 40 years of knowledge as a trainer and teacher into 250 pages of reading into a book titled The Principles of Training.

You only have to follow Warwick on Facebook to understand the immense popularity of the now US-based horseman, born in Young and raised on a farm just west of the town, whose influence is global and lends the prefix ”world-renowned” to any mentions of his name.

Warwick’s modern philosophy focuses on creating trust and connection between horse and human by emphasising the importance of the animal’s mental wellbeing throughout the training process.

Having spent most of his life training professional reining horses, he now spends his time solving behavioural issues across disciplines and empowering individuals with the tools and mindsets to create their own trusting partnerships with their horses.

Since publishing his first training video on YouTube in 2011, Warwick has created a vast online community founded on personal growth, positivity and a shared passion for the wellbeing of horses.


The Principles of Training has reached the No. 1 spot on Amazon’s equine book lists within days of being released. Photo: Warwick Schiller.

In addition to his online video library with more than 800 real-time training videos, Warwick has created The Journey On Podcast, which interviews inspirational horse people from all over the world and shares their stories and mindsets.

Now clocking in at around two million downloads, it was no surprise when the new kid on the block – Warwick’s long-awaited book, released in early March – topped the Amazon and Kindle charts within weeks, becoming a bestseller, where it remains.

Warwick says it’s humbling: “You’re never really sure how these things are going to go.”

There was an inkling when 740 books he’d printed in Australia last year sold out at Equitana, the biennial international horse expo held in Melbourne last November.

Using the proverb ”Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”, Warwick says The Principles of Training reflects what he advocates daily no matter where he is in the world.

“The book doesn’t say this is how I do something and you should do it this way too,” he said. “I think the subtitle Understanding the Relationship Between You and Your Horse, and Why Effective Training Works says it all, and that’s the key, it’s explaining the why instead of just telling you what to do.”

It’s a book for anyone who works with horses and is overwhelmed by the sheer number of training decisions to be made. Should you speed up, slow down, turn left, turn right? What transition should you make next? Which body part should you move where?

“You didn’t need to memorise a million techniques and scenarios, but just needed to understand the principles at play in each situation,” Warwick explained.

READ ALSO How Warwick Schiller built an empire around his legendary brand of horsemanship

Using the framework of 12 fundamental principles used by all successful horse people across all disciplines, Warwick then illustrates them with real-life examples to help readers fully understand why effective training works.

“Sometimes it’s situations I’ve had, sometimes I quote situations cited by other trainers,” he said. “But if you understand the principles, when you get really good at understanding how the horse works, you can adapt to any situation.

“I might have a clinic and see a problem I’ve never encountered before. A lot of times, I ended up with a pretty successful solution for it just from understanding principles.

“You know, if you can, if you can work on a Holden you can work on a Ford because you know mechanical principles and you understand how internal-combustion engines work.”

But rather than a how-to manual, Warwick says his book is for reading, pondering and experimenting.

Channelling a lifetime of knowledge into 12 chapters wasn’t easy, he said. He started in 2018.

“My brain works at a million miles an hour and trying to type into a computer – my typing is really slow – so it was like six lanes trying to converge into one. There’s a lot of traffic backlogged,” he explained.

man and son at book signing

Warwick and his son Tyler at Equitana in 2022 with the first-run copies of The Principles of Training. Photo: Warwick Schiller.

“There’s definitely another book in me.”

Personal development – one of his cornerstones – is transforming his way of working, whereby people are encouraged to improve horse-person relationships by the humans improving themselves.

That’s saved for the final chapter, the one Warwick says is the most important and offers a possible insight into his next title.

No book tours are planned, but The Principles of Training will go where Warwick goes, and in Australia that’s at least two events shortly: Mastery of the Horse at the Australian Outback Spectacular Horse Expo on the Gold Coast, and a two-day clinic in Caboolture, north of Brisbane.

The book is offered online as a hardcopy and on Kindle, with one review summing it up beautifully: “Somehow Warwick has coalesced many different perspectives into a guide that not only makes one a better trainer, but completely changes the approach and mindset, not only for horse training, but in every aspect of how one approaches and interacts with the world. It is a simple program superficially considered, but deep and complex when practised. Buy it. If it makes little sense at first, just keep reading it and practising the suggestions until it sinks in. All your relationships will be transformed.”

Just last week, Warwick sat for 13 hours personally signing his books, and one of his principles had application even then.

“One of the chapters is named Make the Wrong Thing Hard and the Right Thing Easy, and I used that principle when I chose to use an ink cartridge calligraphy pen to sign the books with. It makes it easy, as you do not have to press down at all, so you do not have to grip the pen tightly. This eliminates all the pressure that causes cramps.”

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Do you like to know what’s happening around your region? Every day the About Regional team packages up our most popular stories and sends them straight to your inbox for free. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.