Schillin' Out with Warwick Schiller
CHANGE IS HARD AT FIRST, MESSY IN THE MIDDLE AND GORGEOUS AT THE END.
~ Robin Sharma
|Bev and Warwick Mesa, AZ 2017|
I have just finished my first clinic of the year, in Mesa, Arizona. There was a horse in that clinic that I had seen 3 years ago at a clinic in Las Cruces, New Mexico. When I saw the horse 3 years ago, it had a lateral softness issue while moving that was perplexing, and I didn’t have a good answer for the rider. I left her with some suggestions, but I didn’t have a definitive answer.
Fast forward to January 2017, and as soon as I saw the issue, I knew I had the answer. It was something I’d learned from thinking outside the box, and looking at different disciplines for answers. It came from not being happy with the status quo. It came from a book on French classical dressage. It came from my decision to change.
That’s right, my decision. Not my ability to change. Not from my talent to change.
My wife Robyn was a Human Resources professional for 25 years, and she always told me that change is the hardest thing for people to do. We witnessed it first hand when my wife, son and I moved to Australia in 2006. Robyn was an NRHA Limited Open World Champion, NRHA judge, and NRHA approved show secretary. Australian reining had been running on the same rulebook since 1990, and just before we moved there the membership voted to affiliate with the NRHA and adopt their rulebook.
Because of her experience, Robyn was invited onto the Reining Australia board to help them understand and implement the new rulebook. It didn’t take long before people had a dislike for my wife, even though they had never met her. It bothered her for quite some time, and it wasn’t until we moved back to the US 4 years later that she could look at it from an outside perspective and realize that it was not her they didn’t like, but it was change they didn’t like. My wife was just the representative of the change they couldn’t embrace.
The years have passed, and I was in Australia recently talking to a board member of Reining Australia, and he told me that the affiliation was the best thing that happened to reining there. He said new people coming into the industry now have no problem with it, because they didn’t have to change their dogma.
I am very lucky giving clinics, because everyone who comes to my clinics is open to change, in fact they want change. But you can’t make people change. The best way to do that is to plant a seed, and let it grow. I accomplish this with my YouTube channel. I just recently passed 10 million views on my videos, even though none of them are a full tutorial on how to do anything. They are all about thinking about things just a little bit differently. So I plant that seed, and let it grow.
The next step is people then sign up to my online video subscription, which has over 400 individual training videos, working with all types of horses, both at home and at clinics around the world. I only allow video subscribers to ride in my clinics, the clinics are actually an added benefit to being a subscriber, and ensures that all participants are not only ready for change, but understand the principles of what I’m trying to achieve, and have worked on it at home.
I have questions from many horse owners around the world with questions like “There is someone at my barn who fights with her horse all the time, how do I tell her there is an easier way?” My reply is that you don’t, you lead by example. You plant a seed. As the saying goes, the best sermons are lived, not preached.
My wife was right when she said that the hardest thing for people to do is change, but once you learn how to change, and embrace change, your horses, and your life, take a turn for the better.
Change on, my friends, change on.
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