Along for the ride: Cults, tribes & mean people!

by Robyn Schiller

Robyn is the wife of horse (and people) trainer Warwick Schiller. She invites you to join her as she journeys through her life as trainer’s wife, mother, businesswoman and nationally competitive rider. 

I think we can all agree that some horse people can be pretty mean. In fact, just today I was reminded of that when we were told there was some “Warwick Bashing” on a Facebook group (it actually turns out that one of the bashers was referring to Clinton and not Warwick – which is funny in retrospect).

I always feel good when I hear that the WSPH (Warwick Schiller Performance Horsemanship) Facebook group is someone’s favorite horsey group to be a part of because we don’t do MEAN or DRAMA. We are dedicated to being a supportive group with a common goal – a “tribe” as we often refer ourselves to.

There was a time that Warwick and I thought we had our once in a lifetime “tribe” of people. It was back in the early 2000’s when Warwick trained horses for the public. We had built up the coolest group of clients EVER. We did as much together as possible; celebrated birthdays, weddings, anniversaries and any other reason we could think of to get together and hang out. There were Saturday lessons, Tuesday wine & ride nights (back before I drank wine) and lots of horse shows! We gelled, we were friends, we were family. So, when Warwick decided to give it all up and go to work for one client exclusively it was a very difficult decision. We knew we were giving that up and we thought we would never have it again.

Don’t get me wrong, we did it for our immediate family. Tyler was still small and we wanted to spend as much time with him as possible, having more of a “normal” life where one of us could be home after school and have most weekends free. It all worked out great in that respect. It also made it better when we would see our tribe at the few horse shows we went to and notice that they were all still friends, even though some of them had gone different directions. It made us happy to know that we were a part of bringing these awesome human beings together and they were staying together.

But, to think that we could ever have it again – no way.

And then, it happened! We started building this video thing. Warwick started sharing what he knew on a broader stage. We decided early on to keep the Bull$#*% out of it and be very intentional about keeping drama, bad-mouthing and negativity far from anything we shared on social media and anything else that we put out there. (Not saying that we haven’t slipped every now and then and engage in conversations we shouldn’t. It’s hard to stay on the high road sometimes, but we keep reminding ourselves to.) We wanted to attract people with the same values and vibe. From the people I’ve met thus far, I’d say we are doing something right.

I haven’t travelled as far and wide as Warwick has, but for the most part, everyone I’ve met has felt like an old friend. Sure there are a few outliers, but with the numbers happening, that is to be expected. It dawned on me one day (I think it was in New Zealand recently) that we’ve got our “tribe” back together! It’s filled with different faces and a lot of different accents, but OMG it is totally happening again!

So, while we have had some people say our group is “cultish” as if it is a negative thing, I take it as a compliment. I just define Cultish to mean “A group of like-minded, positive, passionate horse people”. Further, we are a cult of nice, open-minded, forward thinking, empathetic, smart horse people who don’t need to tear someone else down to make ourselves feel better. We feel better by building others up, supporting their dreams, celebrating their accomplishments and encouraging them when they have a setback. That’s the cult I’m talking about. But I like the word ‘Tribe’ better and I love our tribe! Thanks for being a part of it!

Thanks for reading.


18 thoughts on “Along for the ride: Cults, tribes & mean people!

  1. I’m just a newbie in the subscription program, but I’ve been impressed with the absence of cultish behavior in WSPH. Most closed FB groups associated with clinicians will ban you if you mention another clinician. I think it was yesterday when you quoted Mark Rashid. I remember Warwick referring to Nuno Oliveira in a video. Whoa! You do your subscribers a great service by incorporating information from diverse sources in your teaching. Thank you!

  2. I just joined up in December and have had many moments of “OMG that makes so much sense “!! Ive struggled to understand my 19 yr old stock horse and was ready to give up after 3 falls and loss of confidence. Ive learned everyone has different ways BUT its the way that makes sense to you and your horse that is the best way forward and I find this information and training suits me and I love it! Its all new to me and I have another one of Warwick’s followers (with much more experience than me) helping me. Im over the moon and have hope where there was none 🙂 I have been told my horse is just a naughty horse, I don’t accept that and Im sure i was right not to. Thank-you 🙂 It a pretty good tribe and Ive seen no nasty posts on the FB page which is a nice change

  3. One of the things (there are many) I love about this tribe is that people are actually searching for answers as to how to make things better for their horses, and new ideas are openly shared with credit given to where they came from.

  4. Thanks, Robyn! I sure appreciate the positive support. There are times I get sucked way down, and negativity certainly isn’t a help, especially then. I know that not everyone believes in God, but I really like this verse from Galatians (5:22): “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control.” Somehow, these are the qualities that I need to be aspiring to when I interact with my horse (and interact with people). I want to be a part of a tribe that builds one another up, as you are saying! : )

  5. I really like the way you shared your transparency to all of us….your encouragement is important to us and in return we appreciate how you have supported Warwick as he pursued his passion! The Warwick Tribe thanks you & Warwick for making your passion our passion😄👍🐎‼️

  6. I joined your tribe because two of my tribes collided and these two tribes subscribe to the underlying importance of compassion and care we have for other humans and our equine friends. Grateful for you, and Warwick.

  7. Social media does seem to attract negativity and meanness at times but I have not seen that in any of the groups associated with Warwick and Robyn, thank goodness! Every person needs a place or tribe that they can turn to for support and direction at times and for the last year I have felt good about looking for it here! Thank you!

  8. Yep pretty cool
    Bunch of people and the talent that is in here is amazing it’s my one stop shop now for all things horsey. It really has been a life changing experience for me in all parts of my life. Love being apart of the WS cult. Thanks always.

  9. I am relatively new to the culture of horsemanship. I have certainly seen people stare down their nose at me for asking questions and not being all powerful and knowing. Lol. But I have found in this group a whole lot of people willing to admit their shortcomings and mistakes, and asking for help and actually receiving, constructive criticism (gasp) from other adult humans. It is a breath of fresh air and truly a confidence builder to ask the questions, that may seem stupid in your head, but that the right person is just waiting to answer. I also appreciate that Warwick and his Wife take time from their undoubtedly busy schedules to interact with us and give advice. I am beyond overjoyed at discovering Warwick on YouTube, and I am so thankful for the things I learn every day.

  10. This is all so very new and different for me and I am thrilled. I just joined and I find the facebook group so helpful and knowledgeable. I’m sure my stablemates think I’m a bit crazy standing staring at my horse as they ride around me but at my age 75 you really don’t care. My relationship with my horse is growing and I am having a blast learning new ways,it keeps me young. Hope to someday meet you both and thank you for this fun journey.

  11. Spot on I’m enjoying theses sites and my subscription! Im learning a lot, my goal is to have a relationship with my horses like I’ve never knew! Journey On! No need to be negative it gets you nowhere in life. Thanks Robyn n Warwick

  12. I think what you and Warwick have done is encourage people to become a part of “something” – it’s all positive – everyone helps each other and we can ask questions without feeling foolish – it’s a safe space. VERY hard to find that in the world these days. Some people just don’t understand how to play in that type of playground and that is very sad. Thanks for all you do – especially in keeping everything positive.

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